November 2023

Page 1

The pan-European magazine for the professional cleaning sector





Read how choosing the right products can encourage good hand hygiene behaviour

The price of theft in the EU

A peoplecentric vision

Becoming a force for good

Page 31

Page 36

Page 28

Page 41


November 2023 | Vol.31, No.6



36 Businesses pay the price of theft

21 Trolleys in the spotlight

Hartley Milner on the shoplifting epidemic now taking place across Europe.

03 News

Cleaning trolleys now have smart design and are more aesthetically pleasing.

28 A people-centric vision Service provider ABM tells us how it strives to support and nurture its people.

10 European reports

31 Promoting good habits Can products used in the washroom encourage better hand hygiene habits?

14 UNI labour survey

38 What’s all the pressure for? What are the main uses for high-pressure cleaners in today’s market?

41 A force for good Simply Washrooms tells us about its journey to become B. Corp certified.

43 Big event sweeping What’s involved in sweeping up after a major outdoor event?

47 Hidden dangers Cleaners can be vulnerable to abuse and assault when working alone.

Criterion Publishing Ltd Castle House, 89 High Street Berkhamsted HP4 2DF, UK T +44 (0)1494 791222 F +44 (0)1494 792223 www. Subscriptions UK - £60 / Continental Europe - £70 / International - £80

Editor Michelle Marshall Features Writer Ann Laffeaty Advertisement director Chris Godman Advertisement sales executive Laura Bell

Circulation Marie Payne

Italy, Spain & Switzerland Fabio Potesta Mediapoint & Communications Corte Lambruschini, Corso Buenos Aires, 8 V0 Piano, Interno 7 16129 Genova, Italy T +39 010 570 4948 F +39 010 553 0088 www.

European Cleaning Journal is published six times a year by Criterion Publishing Ltd. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in European Cleaning, Criterion Publishing Ltd and its agents can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributors, manufacturers or advertisers. Copyright for all material published in European Cleaning remains with Criterion Publishing Ltd and its agents.

ISSN 0968-901X ©Criterion Publishing 2023



Latest News & Events from ECJ

ISS publishes white paper on AI and the future of facility services Global facility services provider ISS has published a white paper exploring the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in facility services - ‘Rising Above the Noise: What Artificial Intelligence Means for the Built Office Environment’. Authored with distinguished AI scientist Inma Martinez, the white paper provides actionable insights for deploying AI in the built office environment; elevating human potential and reshaping the future of workplaces.

Intersection Exploring the dynamic intersection of human ingenuity and emerging technologies. The paper examines key components of a workplace, including: • Energy • Building sustainability • Workplace experience • Talent attraction & retention • Information security. Each chapter culminates in key takeaways, offering a strategic roadmap for intertwining AI with core operations. Commenting on the transformational role AI will play in the built environment, Inma Martinez explained: “The built office environment is about to enter an exponential

era of AI-driven products and services that will transform how we address the challenges ahead. This includes in sustainability and energy management; designing responsive, adaptable and scalable integrated services, and - perhaps most critically - in enabling a decentralised data architecture that allows for further optimisations”.

Harmonise Martinez was a participant at the UK’s recent AI Safety Summit, hosted at Bletchley Park. Her credentials include groundbreaking work with Cambridge University and Trinity College Dublin, where she pioneered the first real-time AI recommendation system for the mobile internet. Leanne Lynch, CIO of ISS UK & Ireland added, “This exploration of AI aligns with our ambition to harmonise human ingenuity with technological advancements, especially within sectors like food and energy. It’s an exciting journey that promises enhanced operational` efficacy and a greater impact on the communities and clients we serve.” To access the white paper visit:

Sales of cleaning robots grow Sales of robots for professional cleaning applications grew by eight per cent in 2022, according to the International Federation of Robotics. This equated to almost 6,900 units being sold, with most of them dedicated to floor cleaning. And almost 4.9 million household cleaning and vacuuming robots were sold in the domestic market. Robot sales were also up in the hospitality and agricultural

sectors as companies struggling with staff shortages continued to turn to automation. “The service robot industry is developing at a fast pace,” said IFR president Marina Bill. “A shortage of skilled workers and a lack of staff applying for service jobs are both boosting demand.” The total number of service robots sold for professional use in 2022 rose 48 per cent to 158,000 units.

• La société mondiale de services d’installation ISS a publié un livre blanc consacré aux perspectives de l’intelligence artificielle dans les domaines de son métier. • Les ventes de robots pour le nettoyage professionnel ont augmenté de 8 pour cent en 2022, annonce la Fédération robotique internationale.

EVENTS March 13-14 2024

March 18-20 2025

Manchester Cleaning Show

The Cleaning Show

Manchester, UK

London, UK

March 26-29 2024

May 27-29 2025

China Clean Expo

ISSA Pulire

Shanghai, China

Milan, Italy

May 14-17 2024

September 23-26 2025

Interclean Amserdam

CMS Berlin

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Berlin, Germany

October 3 2024

November 10-13 2025

European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards

ISSA North America

Lisbon, Portugal

Chicago, USA

November 18-21 2024

October 19-22 2026

ISSA North America

ISSA North America

Las Vegas, USA

Las Vegas, USA

December 11-13 2024

Interclean China Shanghai, China To have your event included in the Events section, contact ECJ via email at:

• Das globale Facility-Management-Unternehmen ISS hat ein Whitepaper veröffentlicht, in dem das transformative Potenzial künstlicher Intelligenz (KI) im Facility Management untersucht wird. • Der Verkauf von Robotern für professionelle Reinigungsanwendungen stieg 2022 nach Angaben der International Federation of Robotics um acht Prozent.

• L’ISS, azienda globale di servizi per le strutture, ha pubblicato un libro bianco che approfondisce il potenziale di trasformazione dell’intelligenza artificiale (AI) nei servizi per le strutture. • Secondo la Federazione Internazionale di Robotica, le vendite di robot per applicazioni di pulizia professionale sono cresciute dell’8% nel 2022.

November 2023 | ECJ | 3


More than a third of UK cleaners have worked while they were ill Low-paid UK cleaners are dragging themselves to work when they are ill because many of them are unable to claim sick pay, research has found. A year-long investigation into conditions in the sector has revealed that more than a third of cleaners have worked while unwell.

Millions missing out Workers who earn more than £123 a week are legally entitled to statutory sick pay after a period of three days, although many employers across the economy implement their own more generous schemes. However, many of the 500 cleaners polled told researchers

they earned too little to qualify for statutory sick pay or that they could not afford to manage without three days’ pay before it kicked in. And in some cases, their employer had refused to pay. “They told us that if we got ill, they weren’t going to pay us or they were going to sack us,” said one survey participant while another said: “My friend fell while she was at work. She was at home for a month, and they didn’t pay her.”

No sick pay Elias Alvarenga, a Canary Wharf cleaner and Unite representative, said he commonly spoke to colleagues

who did not receive sick pay. “We have a lot of members working for different companies in this situation,” he said. Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy which conducted the study, said:

“The UK has one of the least generous sick pay systems in the industrialised world. Millions of workers across the country are missing out on sick pay and this is making the workplace unsafe for everyone.”

Study finds hand washing before gloving hinders adherence

Putting on gloves without first washing the hands in a healthcare setting could be as safe as current strategies which require hand-washing before donning gloves, according to a new study. And current guidelines could actually be having an adverse effect on hand hygiene adherence claim the authors of

the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Most healthcare policies decree that healthcare staff should first wash their hands before putting on gloves. US researchers carried out a randomised trial among 3,790 healthcare personnel across 13 hospitals where a percentage of participants

• Au Royaume-Uni, des agents de nettoyage mal payés se forcent à travailler quand ils sont malades parce qu’ils ne peuvent pas réclamer des allocations santé, indique une enquête. • Selon une nouvelle étude, le port de gants sans un lavage préalable des mains dans un contexte de santé présenterait le même degré de sécurité que les stratégies actuelles prévoyant le lavage préalable des mains.

4 | November 2023 | ECJ

adhered to a ‘direct-gloving’ strategy whereas the others adopted a method whereby hand hygiene was performed before donning gloves. When questioned about the strategies, 68 per cent of participants saw potential benefits in the direct-gloving policy such as increased time and cost efficiency, lower levels of

• Eine Untersuchung hat ergeben, dass sich schlecht bezahlte britische Reinigungskräfte zur Arbeit schleppen, wenn sie krank sind, weil viele von ihnen nicht in der Lage sind, eine Lohnfortzahlung im Krankheitsfall zu verlangen. • Laut einer neuen Studie könnte das Anziehen von Handschuhen, ohne vorher die Hände zu waschen, in einer medizinischen Umgebung genauso sicher sein wie aktuelle Strategien, die zuerst das Händewaschen erfordern.

skin irritation and improvements in staff satisfaction. Around 60 per cent perceived no risks and had concerns about a direct-gloving strategy if it were proven to be safe. The results found both methods had a low overall prevalence of potential pathogenic organisms on gloves, and that there was no significant difference in the total bacterial colony counts between the two strategies. The authors concluded a direct-gloving policy was “as safe as the current strategy requiring hand washing before donning gloves in areas in which hand hygiene rates were otherwise high”. However, the study also noted a direct-gloving strategy should not be used in emergency departments or other areas where overall adherence to hand hygiene and glove use is low until further studies take place.

• Secondo una ricerca, gli addetti alle pulizie del Regno Unito a bassa retribuzione si trascinano al lavoro quando sono malati perché molti di loro non sono in grado di richiedere l’indennità di malattia. • Secondo un nuovo studio, indossare i guanti senza prima lavarsi le mani in un ambiente sanitario potrebbe essere sicuro quanto le attuali strategie che richiedono prima il lavaggio delle mani.

Patented Vibe Pro® technology brings metered aircare to the next level

Metered for Precise Fragrance Dose Every Time Patented Technology Harmonize Fragrances with Other Washroom Products Custom Programming Capabilities Elevate Experiences by Pairing with V-Screen Dual

30-day, dual-sided urinal screen with exceptional fragrance and anti-splash back capabilities Linen Breeze and Citrus Mango coordinate with Vibe Pro®

Learn more at *UK Patent No. GB2578127


Global hand hygiene market is booming says new report The global professional hand hygiene market was valued at US$6.18 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach US$8.18 billion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 4.77 per cent. The expansion of the hospitality and healthcare industries has led to the increased consumption of hand hygiene products, claims market research company Arizton.

And healthcare development is expanding worldwide with countries such as India and China actively promoting hand hygiene. The Covid-19 pandemic was claimed to be a major catalyst for growth with a notable surge in demand for sanitisers and disinfectants during the pandemic. But according to the authors, demand for products such as soaps, sanitisers, and disinfectant wipes still remain higher than pre-pandemic. A preference for foam-based hand hygiene products has emerged over recent years due to their convenience and ease of use. There has also been a growing preference for environmentally-friendly and skin-sensitive products, the authors note. And the introduction of automated hand hygiene solutions is said to be another significant trend, particularly in professional settings such as healthcare facilities, food service establishments and offices. The need for more effective and efficient hand hygiene practices is said to be driving the market as healthcareassociated infections remain a significant concern. The study also says emerging nations are making great strides in healthcare development, with several countries in the Asia-Pacific region beginning to promote hand hygiene through the increased installation of hand washing facilities and an improved water supply. • Le marché professionnel de l’hygiène des mains enregistre une croissance annuelle composée de 4,77 pour cent grâce à l’usage accru de produits dans les secteurs de l’hospitalité et de la santé. • Der Markt für professionelle Handhygiene weist eine durchschnittliche jährliche Wachstumsrate von 4,77 Prozent auf, da die Expansion im Gastgewerbe und Gesundheitswesen zu einer erhöhten Produktverwendung geführt hat. • Il mercato dell’igiene professionale delle mani sta crescendo a un tasso annuo composto del 4,77% poiché l’espansione nel settore alberghiero e sanitario ha portato a un maggiore utilizzo dei prodotti.

6 | November 2023 | ECJ

Whatever Your Cleaning Needs, TASKI ULTIMAXX Delivers A Specific Solution For You The TASKI ULTIMAXX range is the pinnacle of ergonomic walk behind scrubber-dryers, but it’s so much more than just a scrubber-dryer, it’s your scrubber dryer. With multiple brush decks, and over 10,000 permutations, whatever the cleaning challenge your facility faces, your TASKI ULTIMAXX has the specifics to meet them, and the technology to exceed them. Swiss at heart, ULTIMATE in nature, TASKI ULTIMAXX adapts to you, your facility and your operators.

For more information, visit follow us on LinkedIn.

Find out more on


EFCI attends EP hearing on social impact of public procurement dialogue. During his presentation, Mattioli emphasised the following key points:

Economic impact

In October EFCI participated in a hearing, organised by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (EMPL) to discuss the findings of a report on the social impact of the current public procurement provisions. For the first time, EFCI was given the opportunity to present its views before the members of the European Parliament on an issue of fundamental importance for the sector. Director general Matteo Matarazzo tells us more.

Public procurement significantly influences the cleaning industry, contributing up to 50 per cent of turnover in some countries. This not only sustains financial health but also shapes market conditions for private clients.

Following the invitation of the president of the EMPL Committee, MEP Dragos Pislaru, EFCI president Lorenzo Mattioli took part in the October hearing of the European Parliament on the social impact of the 2014 public procurement directive. At the centre of the exchanges, the presentation of a report commissioned by the EMPL Committee, investigating how the current provisions of the directive have contributed (or not) to the achievement of more social objectives through public procurement. Following the presentation of the report by its authors, different speakers have taken the floor: Professor Schulten from the Hans-Bockler Stiftung, Dr Jaerhling from the Duisburg-Essen University, Mr Skjellerup from the Municipality of Copenhagen and Mr Rothig, regional secretary of UNIEuropa, the trade union counterpart of EFCI in the sectoral social Mattero Matarazzo, cadre de la FENI à Bruxelles, rend compte de la réunion qu’a récemment tenue la Commission de l’emploi et des affaires sociales du Parlement européen sur ses conclusions concernant les incidences sociales des dispositions actuelles en matière d’achats publics. Matteo Matarazzo (EFCI) berichtet aus Brüssel von

8 | November 2023 | ECJ

Labour costs challenge With labour costs exceeding 80 per cent of the industry’s total expenses, recent inflationary trends, particularly in salary adjustments, present financial challenges, impacting the sector’s overall landscape.

Directive gaps The 2014 public procurement directive lacks clarity on price revision mechanisms, leading to varied regulations across

Member States. Companies struggle to recover increased salary costs, operating at a loss, and facing sustainability concerns.

Advocacy for change EFCI, alongside stakeholders, advocates for explicit guarantees in the directive, enabling member states to revise public contract prices. This push aims to ensure companies can recover increased costs, upholding service quality and employment standards.

Financial dimensions A presented study highlighted concerns about financial conditions in tender awards. Despite the “best quality-price ratio” principle, tenders often prioritise the lowest price, potentially compromising service quality.

Call for professionalisation

• EFCI president Lorenzo Mattioli

The study emphasised member states’ tendency to award tenders solely based on the lowest price, underscoring the need for improved technical capacity and enforcement. Public authorities play a crucial role in fostering professionalisation among contracting authorities. As the industry adapts to these challenges, ongoing discussions, including an event on public procurement in November, will shape the future of the cleaning industry. Stay tuned for updates in our commitment to navigate this evolving landscape.

Next edition of ECJ will be Feb/March 2024 - stay up to date with news at the website einer Sitzung des Ausschusses für Beschäftigung, soziale Angelegenheiten und Chancengleichheit des Europäischen Parlaments (EMPL), bei der die Ergebnisse eines Berichts über die sozialen Auswirkungen der geltenden Bestimmungen für die öffentliche Auftragsvergabe erörtert wurden. Dalla EFCI di Bruxelles, il corrispondente Matteo

Matarazzo ci informa su un meeting che è stato tenuto di recente dal comitato Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (EMPL) per discutere i risultati di una relazione sull’impatto sociale delle attuali disposizioni in materia di appalti pubblici.

UPGRADE YOUR CREW The Kärcher FlexoMate has just redefined flexibility and performance, bringing your cleaning power to a whole new level. Discover the ergonomic design, the adaptability to different needs and the increased productivity. When the cleaning needs to get done perfectly in less time, upgrade your crew at



Flexi cleaning on road to success

Folded microfibre still effective

ECJ’s Lotte Printz takes another look at the flexible market meeting a Flex-job cleaner in Denmark.

VSR has been researching cross-contamination from folding microfibre cloths, writes John Griep.

One Monday morning at 8am, yours truly arrives at the old building where I used to study journalism. A building now a community and conference centre run by Skejby Rangers. It may sound like it, but this is not a football club, nor is my visit a trip down memory lane. I’m here to meet 54-year-old Tora Kerstens who starts her working day at the premises where Skejby Rangers, her current employer, resides. Her bubbly energy and vigour fill the room, and as we make our way towards the storage where she is to fetch cleaning supplies for her working day, Tora also reveals there’s more to her than meets the eye. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Order) and granted what is called a ‘Flex-job’ in Denmark. A scheme introduced in 1997 for those who are unable to work full-time on ordinary terms due to mental or physical challenges for example, but who are far too well to receive early medical retirement benefits. An employer pays for the actual hours people in flexible employment work and the local authority tops up to what amounts to full-time pay in that job. After a working life of several, often short-term jobs Tora is now working four hours three days a week – as a cleaner. “I’ve been struggling with low self-esteem my whole life and for years I was extremely good at adapting to the wishes and terms of others. In the end causing too much strain on my brain which was already overloaded,” Tora explains. Now this Flex-job as a cleaner, most days in the shared facilities at a place for refugees, helps her Rapportant du Danemark, Lotte Printz examine le programme des « Flex-jobs » offert à des travaillement incapables de travailler à temps plein pour cause d’incapacité physique ou mentale, mais qui se portent trop bien pour être contraints à une retraite anticipée.

get out of bed and brings her a sense of success. She may still be tired, strained even, after her day cleaning, but her 12-hour working week allows a life outside of work and ‘time-outs’. “It’s great to make my own money and to feel I contribute rather than receiving full-time benefits,” she says. “I have an eye for detail and for the standards required. And even though my CV may tell people otherwise, I need a job like this where 95 per cent is routine.” For one of Tora’s colleagues, it’s quite the opposite, and it’s important to understand and find the individual strengths and needs of the people in flexible employment, while still being flexible towards the customers, Mia Skovgaard, working in marketing for Skejby Rangers, explains. “A Flex-job is not a job title! Yet there is still a lot of prejudice in the labour market about people in Flex-jobs. A low IQ being one of them. So, at the end of meetings with potential customers, I often spring on them, matter-offactly, that I too have a Flex-job,” she says smiling. To make it easier for companies to take on people in Flexjobs, Skejby Rangers manages all the paperwork and dealings with the local authorities and the people are on Skejby Rangers’ payroll, currently 16 employees taken on for their drive rather than qualifications. “Our employees fulfil facility service tasks, among others. We are not a charity, mind you! And we don’t want pity. But we do hope that in the end, the companies see the value and the idea of taking on an employee in a Flex-job themselves,” Mia concludes.

In ihrem Bericht aus Dänemark betrachtet Lotte Printz „Flex-Jobs“, ein Programm für diejenigen, die aufgrund psychischer oder körperlicher Herausforderungen nicht in der Lage sind, Vollzeit zu arbeiten, die aber zu gesund sind, um Vorruhestandsleistungen zu erhalten.

10 | November 2023 | ECJ

Dalla Danimarca, la corrispondente Lotte Printz esamina attentamente ‘Flex-jobs’, uno schema per coloro che non sono in grado di lavorare a tempo pieno a causa di problemi di salute mentale o fisica ma stanno troppo bene per ricevere il trattamento pensionistico anticipato per problemi di salute.

VSR has been researching crosscontamination from folding microfibre cloths for some time. I wrote about this last year after it was found that micro-organisms spread from a dirty surface to clean surfaces by the folding method. The microfibre cloth thus contaminates itself when the cloth is folded. Is that bad? Despite the contamination, there remained a substantial reduction in micro-organisms by cleaning with clammy microfibre cloths. So the cloths do clean things. In fact, for cleaning, the microfibre cloth is extremely effective. Because by using it correctly, microfibres remove dirt more thoroughly than other cloths. How does that work? Firstly, microfibres hold onto dirt better compared to traditional materials, and the cleaned surface is left virtually dry. Alongside that, the use of water and detergent is mainly unnecessary. Secondly - and this may seem contradictory - the folding method also means there is actually less spread of dirt and micro-organisms. Because if a (clammy) microfibre cloth is folded two or three times, creating eight or sixteen sides, a clean part of the cloth can be used for cleaning each time. When all the sides have been used, the cloth is replaced with a clean cloth. For the fanatics among us, the pattern of cross-contamination is important here in identifying the cause. The transmission is uneven. More micro-organisms are found on some surfaces after cleaning than on others. Significantly more micro-organisms were found on surface 12 than on all other surfaces except the soiled surface (surface 1). Dans son compte-rendu des Pays-Bas, John Griep, de l’organisation VSR, explique que des recherches s’y poursuivent depuis quelque temps sur le problème de la contamination croisée produite par des tissus en mcrofibres.

Side 12 is the back of side 1, which could mean that microorganisms are squeezed through the different layers by the pressure of the hand. This may also explain the relatively higher numbers of micro-organisms on surfaces 15 and 6. These sides of the folded cloth follow side 12. On sides 2, 5, 8, 11, 13 and 16, the lowest numbers of micro-organisms were found. Proper use of microfibre cloths is not just about folding. Because the cloths are no longer rinsed out in a bucket of water, dirt and micro-organisms remain in the cloth. This means they are no longer moved through the rinse water to other surfaces. Also important: working from clean to dirty. Even type of surface appears to influence the spread of micro-organisms. More micro-organisms are found on porcelain than on plastic and metal surfaces.

Concern unnecessary Conclusion: concern about cross-contamination from folding microfibre cloths is unnecessary, in our opinion. It is important to distinguish between cleaning, disinfecting and sterilising. When cleaning is required, the microfibre cloth (including folding technique) is extremely effective. In the study using humidification with demineralised water, we observed a 99.99 per cent reduction in microbial contamination in a single working pass. So the effectiveness of the microfibre cloth remains impressive at this point. The digital research report ‘Cross-contamination when using folded microfibre cloths’ can be ordered through the VSR office.

In den Niederlanden wird die Frage der Kreuzkontamination durch faltbare Mikrofasertücher seit einiger Zeit erforscht, berichtet John Griep (VSR).

Nei Paesi Bassi, il problema della contaminazione crociata causata dal piegare i panni in microfibra è già da un pò di tempo oggetto di ricerca, come spiega John Griep della VSR.



A spirit of initiative brings success

Being equipped for green transition

From Italy Anna Garbagna brings the inspiring story of cleaning industry legend Luigi Marfella.

As cleaning firms strive to be more sustainable, they need training, writes Christian Bouzols in France.

His name is Luigi Marfella and he is the protagonist of a story worth telling. The son of a lady janitor who worked in a state school, he has always associated his passion for the cleaning world to his moments of childhood when, following his mother in her daily work, he could detect the pungent smell of detergents and the scent of cleanliness in the rooms where his mum had passed by. But even then the inequalities were obvious: “It has always struck me that my mother, working through a cooperative, had to work so much but earned less than her colleagues. These injustices were my first introduction to the cleaning world,” Luigi recalls. When he entered the world of construction, he immediately noticed the disorganisation and minimal training of the cleaners in the newly built apartments. Marfella consequently returned to the cleaning sector and started his own company, his goal was to excel in all aspects. He tried to find courses and training to guide him towards the best practices of the sector. “Despite there being many options available for practical training, there was no entrepreneurial vision,” he explains. And so, in addition to running his cleaning company, Marfella started to offer training courses under the project ‘Serial Cleaner’. This project started the first course in Italy for the unemployed to reintroduce them into the working world, following 40 hours of theoretical and practical training which leads them to be in touch with facilities that are looking for staff. There was also growing demand for advice from business owners so Marfella decided

In their journey towards ever better environmental practices, cleaning companies need to do more than just use ecologically certified products and green ways of working, all of which are already much used in the sector. In answer to that requirement, two organisations - INHNI and Fare Propreté - are offering training courses in green transition (transition écologique). The first of these organisations, which works in the fields of hygiene, cleaning and environment, each year trains some 1,700 apprentices under workstudy contracts and guides some 22,000 trainees, while the second helps companies to improve their competencies in these areas.

En Italie, le secteur de la propreté bénéficie de l’inspiration de Luigi Marfella, dont Anna Garbagna raconte le parcours.

to share the lessons learned along his way. That is how the idea of the book ‘Ripulisci la Tua Impresa di Pulizie’ (Clean up Your Cleaning Company) came along, in which Luigi Marfella outlines his vision for the future of the professional cleaning sector in Italy, offering practical advice and strategies for growth. “The book is an attempt to answer the questions I have been asked most frequently, ie, how to increase earnings, how to find the best customers, how to reduce manual work in favour of automated work and how to acquire good collaborators,” continues the author, explaining how he wrote the book with the hope that his path can inspire others to elevate the cleaning industry in Italy. After all, it is good to remember the cleaning market in Italy boasts a turnover of €21 billion and employs over 600,000 people. It is a dynamic and growing sector but paradoxically has deep gaps in terms of professionalism, legislation and entrepreneurship. All of this becomes even more surprising if we analyse the fact that many cleaning companies are still managed as simple family businesses, without any business approach or the necessary proficiency to prosper in a market which is vast, complex and therefore competitive. “Why is it that in many sectors, it is considered crucial to have specific training while in the cleaning sector it seems that dustpan and brush are good enough to start?”, wonders Marfella, businessman and trainer, and as of today, also author of the book ‘Ripulisci la Tua Impresa di Pulizie’ (Clean up Your Cleaning Company).

In ihrem Artikel aus Italien vermittelt Anna Garbagna uns die Erfolgsgeschichte von Luigi Marfella, einem inspirierenden Mann in der professionellen Reinigungsbranche.

La corrispondente italiana Anna Garbagna ci parla della storia di successo di Luigi Marfella, un uomo fonte di ispirazione per il settore delle pulizie professionali.

A new model Green transition consists of progressing towards a new business and social model aiming to find global and lasting solutions to the environmental issues of today and to the threats facing the planet. The goal is to meet the demands of clients, regulatory requirements and the expectations of society which are obliging cleaning companies to think about how they could reduce the effects of their activities on the environment in the immediate future and the medium term. Called ‘Speed up Your Green Transition’, the training courses are designed for the managers of medium and small companies, as well as for the environmental officers of larger companies - the intention

being to make them appreciate the environmental issues and impacts surrounding their businesses and to better integrate existing methodologies. The aim is to make participants aware of all these problems and to help them tackle them by taking global environmental decisions. Participants will also get to know how to play ‘TransitiO: Get Started with Green Transition!’. Developed by Fare Propreté, this game can be played collectively by all levels of company management and deals with the environmental issues of the cleaning sector. Its goal is to explain all the main issues linked to cleaning activities and help participants to apply what they have learned to their daily activities. The courses last for about 20 hours and are to be followed over a period of two months. They involve several distinct approaches and are to be pursued both online and in-house. Participants each get a free copy, but their company is charged €200 Euros pre-tax if it has fewer than 20 employees and €400 Euros pre-tax if it has more than 20 employees (this fee being applicable to companies that have paid up their membership to Fare Propreté). The training courses are being offered as from this Autumn in Marseille, Lyon and Bordeaux, and in further teaching centres in 2024. For more details, please visit: dispositifs-transition-ecologique

The 2024 European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards will open for entry early in the new year. Look out for details at En France, les entreprises de propreté se voient proposer des formations à la transition écologique visant à l’amélioration de leurs pratiques environnementales. Christian Bouzols fait rapport.

In Frankreich werden Reinigungsunternehmen in der Anwendung besserer, umweltfreundlicher Praktiken geschult. Christian Bouzols berichtet.

In corrispondente Christian Bouzols ci informa che in Francia, le imprese di pulizia stanno ricevendo del training nella transizione verde per l’utilizzo di migliori pratiche ambientali.

November 2023 | ECJ | 11



General mood less positive

Skills make for a sustainable future

ECJ’s Katja Scholz in Germany tells us about the autumn survey of the contract cleaning sector.

In the UK, Lynn Webster reports from an event focusing on business responsibilities in key areas.

Hot off the press, the Federal Association of Contract Cleaners (BIV) presented the results of its current autumn business survey in October, showing the overall mood in the sector along with market forecasts and sales expectations. This survey focused on the initial impact on companies of the ‘Citizen’s Income’ and the non-existent efforts of the federal government to reduce red tape. In spring the survey was still dominated by the war in Ukraine, but discussions surrounding the four-day week and greater trust in politicians encouraged a more optimistic mood in the sector – in contrast to the previous autumn, when the economic consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the global materials and supply chain bottlenecks resulting from the pandemic and the effects of price inflation took centre stage. And this autumn? The mood in the contract cleaning trade has darkened, compared with this spring. Barely a quarter of the companies surveyed - 24.7 per cent compared to 40.5 per cent in spring - have positive business expectations for the current year, barely half see their business situation as unchanged and a further quarter view expectations for the coming year as more mixed or even negative.

With so much media traffic and business responsibilities around the economy, climate change and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) specifically, these were the theme of the recent Cleaning & Support Services Association (CSSA) autumn members event. We were fortunate to have some eminent speakers; firstly on the UK Economy, including consideration of the UK’s unique circumstances; Brexit (of course) putting the brakes on investment; having five Prime Ministers in the last seven years with such political instability leading to the destruction of investment initiatives; a permanent shortage of labour resources exacerbated by an aging population retiring early (especially post pandemic); individuals unable to work whilst awaiting treatment; chronic underinvestment and an overall diminishing brand value. Then Rob Holdway, an environmental consultant and MD of Giraffe Innovation, focused on sustainability and the impact this has, has had and will have on the cleaning industry. Consideration was given to not what this means to so many different people but the benefits of what it does; what it can bring in terms of technology, cultural, social and ethical aspects. Holdway provided a useful summary of where the cleaning industry may be, with his research highlighting where many organisations are undertaking positive initiatives including carbon footprint commitments, plans and reports - although perhaps these can lack details and transparency of supporting data. Food for thought continued with details of the rising sea

Impact of the Citizen’s Income On the companies’ rating scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 = no concern and 10 = great concern), the resulting score of 8.8 shows quite clearly the employers’ concern that the Citizen’s Income is increasingly competing with waged employment. Many are already noticing the initial effects of the increase in Citizen’s Income announced for January 2024. Of these, 28.4 per cent state several employees have already handed in their notice or intend to, citing specifiD’Allemagne, Katja Scholz apporte des nouvelles d’une humeur moins positive dans le secteur du nettoyage.

cally the Citizen’s Income as the reason, while individual cases of this are occurring among a further 40 per cent at present. “The fact that the new Citizen’s Income should exacerbate workforce shortages among seven out of 10 companies in the sector with the largest number of employees in Germany should immediately set alarm bells ringing for the politicians,” says BIV master Thomas Dietrich, in response to these figures. “The balance between challenge and support as well as between social equity and incentive to work must be constantly kept in mind by the politicians – otherwise, a dangerous development threatens the labour market, the economy and the overall performance of our businesses.”

Failure to cut red tape The aim of the present government in Germany is to cut red tape. They would like to bring about a turnaround to counteract the bureaucratic burn-out suffered by many companies and to advance the process of digitalisation. Although the government is at present working on draft legislation to this end, the burden of red tape has not yet been reduced but has in fact even increased during Covid and the Ukraine war. This is exactly how companies in the contract cleaning sector view the present situation: on a scale of 1 = no progress to 10 = great progress, the average rating stands at a very low 1.8. Along with the generally gloomy mood, business expectations for the coming year remain very mixed. Fewer than 30 per cent have a positive view of next year, while 32.5 per cent actually have negative business expectations. It is to be hoped that the mood in the contract cleaning sector as a whole takes a turn for the better in the coming months.

Aus Deutschland bringt Katja Scholz Nachrichten über eine weniger positive Stimmung in der Reinigungsbranche.

12 | November 2023 | ECJ

Dalla Germania Katja Scholz porta notizie di uno stato d’animo meno positivo nel settore delle pulizie.

Au Royaume-Uni, Lynn Webster fait rapport sur une manifestation professionnelle qui était consacrée à des questions économiques et climatiques ainsi qu’à des objectifs environnementaux, sociaux et de gouvernance.

levels; shocking data about the microplastics in the ecosystem (10,000 per litre at the Arctic, 14 million tonnes accumulated on the ocean floor with an increase of 200,000 to 500,000 tonnes each year) with consideration of the impact of deforestation and eutrophication. Socially there are some great statements - some valuable commentary on aspects of fair pay, charity engagement and training (but are they clearly making an impact?); engaging with the practicalities of conservation and management of resources, staff wellbeing and keeping employees safe. Issues related to air quality was an uppermost topic. Around 90 per cent of city dwellers in Europe are exposed to pollution at concentrations higher than that deemed harmful to health. Fine particulate matter in air has been estimated to reduce the life expectancy in the EU. Photochemical ‘smog’ is caused by the emissions of nitrogen oxide and volatile organic substances that generate round level ozone in the presence of sunlight. Other air pollutants include dust particles and sulphur dioxide. Smog and air pollution subsequently increase incidents of asthma and other respiratory and cardiovascular related health conditions. What does all this mean to our cleaning sector leadership and the skills in place for a sustainable future? We each do what we do. We do what we can for the benefit and sustainable efficiency of our business. This aligned to our purpose, reviewing the evidence and with each of our own idiosyncrasies provide a coherent strategy for the future.

Lynn Webster aus Großbritannien berichtet von einer Branchenveranstaltung, die sich mit Geschäftsverantwortung rund um Wirtschaft, Klima und ESG-Ziele befasst.

Dal Regno Unito, la corrispondente Lynn Webster ci parla di un evento del settore che si concentra sulle responsabilità aziendali verso l’economia, il clima e gli obiettivi ESG.

Fully equipped for every cleaning task! The new Comac’s industrial floor scrubber is unique at first sight thanks to the sweeping-scrubbing system! It consists of a pre-sweeping unit with two side brushes and two cylindrical brushes, followed by a scrubbing unit with three disc brushes. This means the C120 is perfectly equipped to guarantee optimum performance whatever the cleaning task. To discover all the features of C120, visit Comac website.

Discover C120

COMAC S.p.A. Via Maestri del Lavoro, 13 - 37059 Santa Maria di Zevio - Verona - ITALY Tel. 045 8774222 - - Comac S.p.A. org. cert. ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, ISO 45001:2018, SA 8000:2014


Working against the clock During the summer, a groundbreaking international survey of cleaners commissioned by UNI Global Union and UNI Europa, shed light on the significant challenges faced by cleaning professionals who work irregular and unsocial shifts. The survey, which received responses from over 2,500 cleaners in 32 countries across six continents, highlights the detrimental effects of shift work on the health, wellbeing, and social inclusion of workers. We take a closer look at the report’s findings.

SHIFT WORK - and especially night work is known to be detrimental to the health, well-being and social inclusion of workers. Which is why UNI Global Union and UNI Europa have been advocating for a full transition to daytime work in the cleaning sector for over a decade. This year, UNI commissioned an international survey of cleaners in order to examine the progress that has been made towards this goal and to shed a greater light on the way persistent irregular and unsocial shifts affect cleaners around the world. Over 2,500 cleaners from 32 countries across 6 continents responded to the survey. While their answers indicated some slight differences in country-bycountry conditions, more striking was the high degree of similarity across borders. When it comes to the way work schedules impact their lives, cleaners worldwide face the same challenges. The results of the survey are clear says UNI: cleaners who work shifts other than the day shift are worse off than their peers. The specific, observable effects are varied and diverse, but highly interrelated. Evening and night workers struggle to

14 | November 2023 | ECJ

find time to see their friends and families. When they manage to, they often do not have the energy to make the most of their time, as poor sleep schedules and exhaustion affect both physical and mental health. Relationships are strained. Social life is sacrificed. Given these facts, supported by the grimly consistent picture painted by over 10,000 words of testimony from respondents, why do cleaners work shifts other than the day shift at all? The overwhelming majority simply do not have a choice. Sometimes this lack of agency is direct: employers and clients may not offer daytime shifts. For many cleaners, however, it comes down to economics. Non-daytime shifts often pay better. As working-class people around the world struggle to make ends meet with the rising cost of living, higher wages for night work appear less like a bonus and more like a necessity. Even so, despite economic pressure, most cleaners who exclusively work the day-shift said they would not switch to working nights, even for better pay.

Cleaners’ own words The report written by UNI Global Union and UNI Europa based on the survey findings presents a comprehensive look at the results of the survey, from both a quantitative and a qualitative perspective - keeping the voices of cleaners in their own words at the forefront. The sample obtained from the survey is representative of the known demographics of the global cleaning workforce as a whole. Nearly 70 per cent of respondents identified as female, while around 25 per cent identified as immigrants in the country where they work and 20 per cent identified as people of colour. Fifty-five per cent of respondents reported working 20 to 40 hours a week. Over a quarter said they work more than 40 hours a week. And 26.2 per cent of respondents said they work more than one job - these cleaners were about 30 per cent more likely to work more than 40 hours a week.

When do cleaners work? Just 30.3 per cent of cleaners surveyed indicated they exclusively work standard day shifts (eg, starting around 8 or 9am and ending around 5 or 6pm). The rest said they regularly work at least some afternoon, evening, early morning, or night shifts in an average month. Just half of respondents work only during one specific period of the day. The most common shift combination reported was early morning and day shifts, but many respondents also said they regularly work three or more different types of shifts in an average month. Around 13 per cent of workers surveyed said they regularly work night shifts. In some countries, such as Colombia, Tunisia and the US, this number was 20 per cent or above. Given what is known about the many adverse effects of night work, its persistence at these levels is concerning, not least to cleaners themselves. At one point in the survey, cleaners who work exclusively during the daytime were asked how their life might change if they had to start working nights. The intensity of many replies evokes a sense of extreme anxiety at the prospect, along with a keen understanding of what it would mean for them. One day shift cleaner in Finland said: “It would ruin me,” while a German cleaner working day shifts said: “Life would be completely turned upside down.” “I see how it affects others,” added a cleaner in Ireland.

The health costs of invisible work Cleaners who only work day shifts get better sleep, have better diets, consume less cigarettes and alcohol and report fewer effects on their mental health than their peers who work other shifts. The results of the survey show significant adverse health effects afflicting cleaners who work at night. Many can be traced back to a single, fundamental root cause so fundamental that several respondents expressed it in nearly identical words: “Night is for sleeping.” The survey found sleep is particularly


challenging for those who work outside the day shift. Nearly seven out of 10 night cleaners reported getting too little sleep, compared to just three out of 10 of cleaners who work only day shifts. Sleep is not optional for the maintenance of a healthy life and these results suggest that nighttime cleaners find it nearly impossible to adequately adapt their sleep schedules to a nocturnal rhythm. Several respondents who work exclusively during the day referred to this issue directly. “I need sleep and this is not possible during the day,” explained a Belgian cleaner working a day shift. While another in Colombia said: “During the day there is sun and too much noise to sleep” Being tired on the job exposes workers to greater risks. As one German night cleaner noted, “accidents at work often happen at night”. It is important to note that while night-shift workers suffer the most in this regard, more than half of those who work early mornings and evenings also report getting too little sleep. By far, the least sleep-deprived workers are those who only work day shifts. This pattern repeats itself across a range of other adverse health issues, as shown in the graph on this page. The percentage of cleaners reporting poor eating habits as a result of their work schedule rises steadily from 41.8 per cent to nearly 54 per cent as the day goes on. Maintaining a regular diet is easier for morning and day workers, while over half of both evening and night workers struggle to do so. Aside from physical health, a shared understanding emerges from cleaner testimony about the holistic negative impact of non-day shifts on other aspects of wellbeing. The percentage of night workers who indicated their schedules lead them to consume too much alcohol, cigarettes and other substances was more than double that of their peers (12.2 per cent versus 5.4 per cent). Nearly 46 per cent of night cleaners and 48 per cent of evening cleaners cited negative impacts on their mental health as a result of their work schedule - while only 30.3 per cent of exclusively day-shift cleaners said the same. While some of this difference may be explained by sleep deprivation, cleaners working early mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights also reported higher rates of social isolation than their peers on the day shift.

Dangers of the night Female cleaners who work night shifts face disturbingly high rates of harassment compared to their peers on other shifts, according to the results of the survey. Cleaners who work outside of daytime hours often find themselves commuting

and working in the darkness, exposing them to risks they might otherwise avoid if their jobs did not require it of them. These risks are not shared equally among all cleaners. Survey respondents were asked if they ever feel unsafe at work - their responses expose a complex gender dynamic. It is apparent that male and female cleaners feel distinct levels of insecurity on the job. Interestingly, the gap in perceived safety between genders varies across

shifts. During the morning shift, male cleaners feel less safe than females. This gap persists to some extent into the day shift and may be due to a social tendency for males to be assigned more physically demanding tasks - that question is out of the scope of the survey. As the day continues into afternoon and night, however, the percentage of female cleaners who sometimes feel unsafe rises Continued page 16

November 2023 | ECJ | 15

LABOUR SURVEY Working against the clock (continued from page 15) Impact on life

Most common reported schedules among respondents

17.9% Day only



Early morning only Morning and day Afternoon early


Night only


Evening only Morning and Afternoon


Morning and Evening Other combinations


20.5% 8.3%

Cleaners who work the evening and night shifts are nearly twice as likely as day-shift cleaners to say that their work schedules get in the way of their social and family lives. Unsocial shifts put cleaners out of sync with those around them, with damaging effects on their social life. The majority of cleaners who work shifts other than the day shift do so because they need the extra pay to make ends meet, according to the results of the survey. For many others, day shifts simply are not an option. All together, nearly seven in 10 cleaners work non-day shifts because they effectively have no choice. Roughly 51 per cent of cleaners who work night shifts feel they don’t have control over their schedules, compared to 33.9 per cent of cleaners who do not work at night. Around a quarter of cleaners who work shifts other than the day shift indicated that day shifts are simply not available. Another third said that exclusive daytime work would not suit other aspects of their lives, such as family time or their study schedule. For over half of respondents, however, the problem was one of economic necessity. It must be said a few cleaners do in fact prefer evening or night work. Some mention the relative calm of cleaning an empty building as opposed to one that’s full, busy and perhaps chaotic. Others enjoy the freedom to get things like errands and appointments done during the day. While these respondents form a small minority, their clearly stated preferences emphasise that the most pro-worker policy would be one that gives workers as much agency and control as possible.


quickly, from a low of 30.4 per cent on the day shift to a high of 43.4 per cent on the night shift, far surpassing the percentage of male night-shift workers who feel the same (37.3 per cent). Respondents were asked whether they had ever been harassed on the way to or from work. Their responses show female cleaners who work the night shift are much more likely to be harassed while Au cours de l’été, une enquête internationale inédite auprès des agents de nettoyage, commandée par UNI Global Union, met en lumière les défis importants auxquels sont confrontés les professionnels du nettoyage qui effectuent des quarts de travail irréguliers et asocials.

16 | November 2023 | ECJ

commuting than their peers on other shifts. The spike in reported harassment is sharp, jumping from a stable point under 20 per cent for female cleaners of all shifts from morning until evening, to over 30 per cent for night workers. It should be noted that male cleaners also report relatively higher levels of harassment during their commutes in both the early mornings and at night.

Given the evident and disturbing negative effects of unsocial cleaning shifts, UNI Global Union and UNI Europa believe it is now essential for all parties in the cleaning sector to promote daytime cleaning. It says the industry as a whole will benefit from the change as unsocial hours are contributing to the sector’s labour shortages. “Reversing this trend means improving the conditions of cleaners’ work. It means increasing cleaners’ visibility in our workplaces, in our daily lives and in society at large,” it concludes. To find out more:

Im Sommer beleuchtete eine bahnbrechende internationale Umfrage unter Reinigungskräften im Auftrag von UNI Global Union die erheblichen Herausforderungen, mit denen Reinigungsfachkräfte konfrontiert sind, die in unregelmäßigen und unsozialen Schichten arbeiten.

Durante l’estate, un’innovativa indagine internazionale sugli addetti alle pulizie, commissionata da UNI Global Union, ha fatto luce sulle sfide significative affrontate dai professionisti delle pulizie che lavorano su turni irregolari e antisociali.

Next Generation Lithium

5 Reasons to Switch to NX1K

1. Saves You u Money 2. Runs Longer 3. Fast & Flexible Charging 4. More Sustainable 5. Extended Long-Life Power The New NX1K Range brings the latest Lithium Phosphate technology to the Numatic FloorCare Range, delivering more runtime, flexible charging and extended battery life.

Scan me Find out how the NX1K Range utilises Lithium Phosphate Technology. Find out more: ©Numatic International Limited 2023


Sustainability is EU Ecolabel certified


See more

SUSTAINABLE THROUGHOUT THEIR ENTIRE LIFE CYCLE Made of at least 30% recycled plastic and designed to be easily disassembled to facilitate easy repair and recycling at end-of-life

SAFE FOR PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT Products without the use of heavy metals harmful to human health and dangerous to ecosystems including cadmium, lead and mercury

HIGH QUALITY AND LONG-LASTING SERVICE LIFE They have passed the tests for strength, stability, durability and operator safety conducted by an independent body according to EN 16121 and EN 14073 TTS Cleaning S.R.L. (Soc. a Socio Unico) - Tel.: +39 049 9300710 - Fax: +39 049 9300720 - E-mail:


Trolleys in the spotlight CLEANING TROLLEYS hit the headlines when singer/songwriter Taylor Swift apparently recently used one to gain entry into a music arena. Fans attending the superstar’s concerts had long been frustrated by the fact no-one had ever seen her enter or leave a stadium. But the mystery appeared to have been solved when a video appeared on TikTok following a Taylor Swift music tour. The footage showed two men wheeling a cleaning trolley equipped with mops, brooms and dustpans through the backstage area of the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. And when the cleaning cart came to a stop, a blonde woman dressed in a sparkling outfit emerged and dashed inside the stadium. Whether this was Taylor Swift making her entrance or not remains unconfirmed by the singer’s PR team. But the story lit up the internet and lent glamour to the trolley category. However, trolleys had already been gaining a higher profile even before this event took place. The ugly, utilitarian carts that were once simply a means of transporting cleaning equipment from A to B have generally been given a makeover over recent years as daytime cleaning becomes more of a trend. And as a result, today’s cleaning trolleys are no longer expected to blend into the background, says Greenspeed’s marketing executive Rosaliene Verhoef. “Cleaning used to take place discreetly after working hours but there is a growing emphasis on hygiene post-Covid,” she said. “This means cleaning is now performed during the day for all to see, and trolleys have evolved to become more than just functional tools.” Today’s trolleys are designed to be more visually appealing than in the past, she says. “They are now used in front of clients, employees and visitors which makes their aesthetics more important,” said Verhoef. Companies are increasingly using trolleys to convey messages, strengthen a company’s brand and advertise their

services as well, she adds. “They can also be used to display logos, slogans and even QR codes to provide easy access to websites and promotional materials,” she said. “This approach helps companies to engage with customers and employees while also building brand recognition. And they make the organisations using them appear more professional.” The look of a trolley can quickly be improved with the aid of sleek designs, colours, customised pictures and logos, she says. “It is all about creating a trolley that not only functions efficiently, but that also leaves a lasting visual impact,” said Verhoef. “And an attractive trolley is more enjoyable to use than a less visually appealing one.

A recent news story concerning US superstar Taylor Swift plunged cleaning trolleys unexpectedly into the spotlight. But manufacturers had already been quietly raising the profile of this sector and coming up with smart new designs and aesthetically-pleasing products. Are we entering a new era of glam trolleys, asks Ann Laffeaty?

Practical priorities

“In fact we frequently receive bespoke requests for our Magic trolleys which can be customised with a customer’s chosen logo or image.” Aesthetics are important for customers when choosing a trolley, he says. “However ergonomics have also become increasingly important because a lightweight, user-friendly trolley will reduce the risk of occupational injuries and related costs,” he said. Trolleys are central to any cleaning service, according to Filmop’s business development manager Paolo Scapinello. “They are an indispensable tool that supports all operations required to ensure clean and healthy environments,” he said. “Over recent years their image has often been associated with hygiene and the protection of people’s health, increasing the users’ perception of safety. Therefore their presence is no longer confined to the background and they provide the perfect opportunity to highlight a cleaning service that takes care of the environment and of the health of the people within it.” Trolleys are constantly evolving to meet new requirements and needs without sacrificing aesthetics, he says. “Customisable graphics are certainly an additional plus, allowing a trolley to become a powerful

“However most customers still rightly prioritise practical factors such as cost, ergonomics and convenience - particularly when working within a budget or to specific functionality requirements. And in our opinion, attractiveness should never come at the cost of convenience because a successful trolley design needs to provide a balance between aesthetics, ergonomics, sustainability and functionality.” Closer attention is definitely being paid to trolley designs in general these days according to TTS Cleaning’s export sales manager Alessandro Costantini. “The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many of us looking for signs that the environment around us is clean,” he said. “And this means trolleys have become more visible and more appealing to look at. Their colours and designs are being chosen to make them appear more stylish - after all, a good design will help to create a high quality brand for the cleaning service.” Trolleys can play a key role in conveying a professional image to customers, he said. “When the panels have been customised with images and messages the trolley becomes an effective means of communication – one that also helps to promote the cleaning company along with the facility in which it operates,” he said.

Continued page 22

November 2023 | ECJ | 21

TROLLEY SYSTEMS Trolleys in the spotlight (continued from page 21)

advertising vehicle or an element integrated into its environment,” he said. “Trolleys can also become an effective advertising medium and an excellent communication tool, which is why requests for impact graphics have become increasingly frequent.” Filmop’s Alpha trolleys offer unlimited customisation possibilities and can be used to incorporate images, graphics, drawings and logos, according to Scapinello. “However, aesthetics must always go hand in hand with functionality,” he adds. Export area manager of IPC by Tennant Company Stefania Bin agrees with other commentators that today’s cleaning trolleys are no longer expected to blend into the background.

More visible “Cleaning now needs to be carried out continuously to maintain a hygienic environment, particularly in busy places such as airports,” she said. “So the aesthetics of a trolley play an important role and can be a great way for manufacturers to be recognised in our competitive market. Trolleys are no longer items that need to be hidden away from public eyes.” The pandemic helped to raise awareness of the importance of cleaning, she says. “The daily cleaning of public places remains at the heart of a society that respects its neighbours and the environment,” she said. “So deploying aesthetical-

On raconte que la chanteuse Taylor Swift s’est cachée dans un chariot de nettoyage pour entrer sur scène de manière inaperçue. Cette anecdote aurait apporté une touche de glamour au marché des chariots de nettoyage. Il reste toutefois que les fabricants cherchent depuis longtemps à proposer des produits de plus belle facture et esthétiques. Une ère nouvelle de glamour a-t-elle commencé pour les chariots de nettoyage ? L’aspect de cet outil de travail compte-t-il vraiment ?

22 | November 2023 | ECJ

ly-pleasing tools in public environments helps to make cleaning less intrusive.” Today’s cleaning trolleys can also be used to advertise and communicate when working in public spaces, Bin adds. “For example, we can customise the doors of our Brix trolleys with any communication.” Kärcher’s product management manual tools Beyza Gügercin agrees Covid has had a dramatic impact on our lives and our habits. “Cleaning is now perceived as a must, while trolleys have become an important means for operators to perform their tasks with increased frequency and to higher standards,” she said. “Cleaning operators used to be expected to hide their equipment but now cleaning has become more visible and people want to see it being carried out. This means aesthetics are increasingly important.” According to Gügercin, large trolleys are frequently being used to deliver advertising messages in shopping centres while coloured cartoon stickers are being used to brighten up the trolleys used in children’s hospital wards. “Cleaning means safety, and its visibility is appreciated,” she said. “And at Kärcher we are adapting our offer to meet this market demand.” The company’s Flexomate trolleys – which have received two design awards – feature large doors and flat surfaces where customers can display their messaging.

Die Nachricht, dass sich Sängerin Taylor Swift offenbar in einem Reinigungswagen versteckt hat, um es ihr zu ermöglichen, die Bühne ungesehen zu betreten, hat dem Reinigungswagen-Markt einen Hauch Glamour verliehen. Doch die Hersteller haben dies bereits selbst getan, indem sie intelligente neue Designs und ästhetisch ansprechende Produkte entwickelt haben. Bricht eine neue Ära der glamourösen Reinigungswagen ein? Und ist das Aussehen wirklich wichtig?

Factors such as compactness, ergonomics and a hygienic construction are all still more important in a trolley than aesthetics, she adds. “But if you can incorporate these attributes and make it look attractive as well, you can take a trolley to a whole new level,” she said. “It should be a helpful tool rather than a cumbersome one that becomes a burden for the cleaner. So it should be adapted to the operator’s natural body posture in order to reduce health issues.” So the profile of trolleys definitely appears to be on the rise. But how far did the story of Taylor Swift riding in one help to glamourise the trolley sector? Greenspeed’s marketing executive Rosaliene Verhoef says she appreciated the media buzz around the event. “Cleaning is not usually associated with entertainment and is rarely covered in mainstream media, so this story was a fun anecdote that helped to draw attention to the industry sector,” she said.

Moment in the spotlight “I may not be a ‘Swiftie’, but given our focus on trolleys it was an entertaining story to follow. Who knew that trolleys would have their moment in the celebrity spotlight?” As a fan of the singer, Kärcher’s Beyza Gügercin said she followed the story. “Though I’m surprised she could fit into a trolley since she is quite tall,” she adds. “And trolleys are not designed to carry people which means concealing oneself in a trolley should be discouraged since it could be dangerous for various reasons. “But since our own Flexomate trolleys are larger than most on the market, I feel she would probably have felt more comfortable in one of ours!” IPC by Tennant Company’s Stefania Bin claims the singer brilliantly transformed a typically unglamorous product into a glamorous one by showcasing its potential. “However, there are definitely more suitable manual modes of transport for concealing a person,” she adds. “And it’s a shame it wasn’t an IPC cleaning trolley. Hey Taylor - next time, give us a call if you’re in need of a designer and glamorous trolley to conceal yourself in!”

Le notizie che la cantante Taylor Swift sembra che si sia nascosta in un carrello per le pulizie per permetterle di arrivare sul palco senza essere vista ha dato un tocco di glamour al settore dei carrelli. Ma i produttori hanno fatto questo da soli creando nuovi design intelligenti e prodotti esteticamente piacevoli. Stiamo forse entrando in un’era di carrelli prestigiosi? E l’aspetto conta davvero?


Certified safe The Magic trolley range from TTS is made up of EU Ecolabelcertified trolleys. Sustainable throughout their entire life cycle, they are made from at least 30 per cent recycled plastic and are easily disassembled for repair or recycling at the end of their life. They are also produced without the use of heavy metals

harmful to humans and dangerous to ecosystems. Also boasting strength, stability, durability and operator safety, Magic trolleys have been designed to speed up and simplify cleaning operations. The modularity of the range and the wide selection of accessories allows configuration according to

the needs of the application.

More storage Said to reduce the need for frequent trips back and forth for supplies is the Janitorial Cleaning Cart from Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP), boasting 40 per cent more storage space than traditional models. Ergonomic design and ballbearing wheels and casters allow for maximum lightweight manoeuvrability - says the company - making it more comfortable and efficient to collect and transport waste and equipment. And the trolley can fit any area, with interchangeable handles

and a removable platform which allows the user to easily expand or reduce the footprint to meet specific needs.

Not just a trolley For Rekola Oy Trolley Systems a cleaning trolley is more than just for transporting cleaning supplies and tools. It says the optimal trolley allows cleaning appliances and accessories to be ergonomically available, optimally positioned, each item easily accessible during the cleaning process - while also facilitating waste collection and separate return of dirty textiles. The company has designed its trolley models so that compact cleaning machines such as small scrubber dryers can be attached. This means no time is lost in transporting machines, they are easy to attach and detach and instantly operational.

• TTS affirme que sa gamme Magic de chariots accélère et simplifie les opérations de nettoyage. • Rubbermaid a lancé un chariot de nettoyage et d’entretien dont l’espace de rangement dépasserait de 40 pour cent celui de modèles concurrents. • Rekola propose des chariots de nettoyage auxquels il est possible de fixer une machine de nettoyage. • Laut TTS beschleunigen und vereinfachen die Reinigungswagen der Produktreihe Magic die Reinigung. • Laut Rubbermaid verfügt der Hausmeister-Reinigungswagen über 40 Prozent mehr Stauraum als andere Modelle. • Rekola bietet Reinigungswagen an, an denen auch eine Reinigungsmaschine befestigt werden kann. • La TTS afferma che la sua gamma di carrelli Magic velocizza e semplifica le operazioni di pulizia. • La Rubbermaid afferma che il suo Janitorial Cleaning Cart ha il 40 per cento di spazio portaoggetti in più di altri modelli. • La Rekola propone dei carrelli ai quali può essere attaccata una macchina per le pulizie.

November 2023 | ECJ | 23


• Le chariot utilitaire Toolflex de Delex Teknik peut être personnalisé afin de répondre à des besoins spécifiques. • Vermop affirme que la configuration intelligente de son chariot Equipe offre à l’utilisateur le choix d’une multitude d’options. • La plateforme Flexomate de chariots de nettoyage Kärcher repose sur un concept modulaire et ergonomique. • Der Toolflex One Utility Cart von Delex Teknik kann an spezifische Anforderungen angepasst werden. • Laut Vermop bietet das intelligente Konfigurationsdesign des Reinigungswagens Equipe mehr als eine Million Optionen zur Auswahl. • Der Reinigungswagen FlexoMate von Kärcher basiert auf einem modularen und ergonomischen Konzept. • Il carrello Toolflex One Utility Cart prodotto dalla Delex Teknik può essere personalizzato per soddisfare le specifiche necessità. • La Vermop afferma che la progettazione di configurazione smart del suo carrello Equipe offre all’utente oltre un milione di opzioni fra cui scegliere. • La piattaforma di carrelli Flexomate della Kärcher è basata su un concetto modulare ed ergonomico.

24 | November 2023 | ECJ


Smart enclosed

Modular concept

From Delex Teknik comes the Toolflex One Utility Cart, designed to maximise efficiency and convenience in storing and transporting cleaning tools. Available with one or two aluminium rails, in both black and white, this trolley can be equipped with holders, hooks and accessories. The robust base tray is designed to hold

Equipe is Vermop’s line of enclosed cleaning trolleys featuring a smart configuration concept that gives users more than a million options to choose from, it says. The smooth surfaces minimise the risk of spreading germs, which is particularly vital in areas where hygiene is strict. And Equipe has been adapted to meet the requirements of the new DIN 13063, whose focus is on improving the wipe disinfectability of trolley components. Separation of clean and unclean areas is a priority and this has now been improved with the use of extensive panelling. Edge protection has also been redesigned in terms of wipe disinfection and stability. Closed surfaces on the chemical centre and the Multibox as well as the new handle are other DIN-compliant features.

The Flexomate cleaning trolley platform from Kärcher is based on a modular concept - it boasts a process-oriented and ergonomic design. Flexomate has the flexibility to carry modules for different cleaning tasks and to add or remove them on the go. This means cleaners may be moving around a building with a large trolley, and can dock the small element required and take it with them for work in small, restricted spaces. The system is accessible from all sides and more than five machines, such as vacuums, can be carried. This cuts out unnecessary journeys, reducing cleaning time by up to 15 per cent. The elements provide heightadjustable handles and tip boxes. All surfaces are easy to clean and there is a collecting tray for liquids.

mop buckets and boxes and other heavy objects. This tray not only helps to contain spills, the smooth caster wheels - two with locking brakes - make for a smooth and stable ride.


A people-centric vision Richard Sykes, SVP and president of ABM UK and Ireland, tells us how the facilities services business has become a truly people-centric business. Any growth plans must embrace this position, continuing to cultivate a workplace that strives to support and nurture team members, both professionally and personally.

AT ABM OUR PURPOSE is clear – to create places that are a pleasure to occupy, making a difference to those who use those spaces each day. With around 100,000 employees and over 350 offices in the UK, Ireland and the US we are a big business, with over $7 billion in revenue. Founded in 1909, the ABM brand is well known and well understood in the US but not so much in the UK and the rest of Europe, which is why we need to move the brand along. Having joined ABM to lead and grow the UK and Ireland business earlier this year, it was clear from my first meeting with the US team that this is a people-centric business. Any growth plans must embrace

28 | November 2023 | ECJ

this position, continuing to cultivate a workplace which relentlessly strives to support and nurture team members, both professionally and personally. Not only is this good business; but it is the right thing to do. ABM has demonstrated this focus in a number of ways; always recognising this is a journey – something that needs continual focus and improvement.

Mental health first aiders: a shoulder to lean on In the fast-paced, high-pressure world of facility solutions, the mental wellbeing of our team members and those we come into contact with daily is paramount. As such, one of our significant initiatives is our Mental Health First Aider programme. We have trained over 100 Mental Health First Aiders throughout the UK so far with ambitions for many more. These are dedicated individuals, who are trained not only to lend a sympathetic ear to their colleagues but also to identify when someone may need support but is hesitant to ask for it.

Talent development: changing perceptions The facilities management industry has an image problem. Technical careers are sometimes perceived to be about ‘oily

rags and no prospects’ while apprenticeships are often seen as a last resort by young people and their parents. Likewise, the words ‘career’ and ‘cleaning’ are rarely used together, with cleaning jobs often seen as an employment stop gap. We have begun to address this in a number of ways. Upskilling is a priority and we actively encourage our people to use our ABM University as a way to develop their career within the business and in the sector as a whole from every level. There should be no limits to this progression. We are also actively working to change perceptions outside of the sector through our Junior Engineering Engagement Programme (J.E.E.P.). This grass roots initiative is conducted in schools to showcase the opportunities available through apprenticeships and in the FM industry. ABM team members from apprentices to directors volunteer to mentor young people. While the focus has been on technical skills, we are now introducing more around the other areas of our business; purposely promoting opportunities for progression both within service verticals as well as what movement across different areas of FM looks like. It’s our responsibility to raise the profile of the facilities management industry among


young people and their parents while creating a pipeline of future talent. The J.E.E.P programme is our investment in the future of our industry and the people within it.

regularly and action is taken to continually provide support.

Inclusion: fostering diversity

Embracing technology is crucial in making the working day more efficient and pleasurable for our teams. Robotics is one example - since June 2020 we have been using several robotic floor scrubber machines across our portfolio of retail and aviation clients, allowing our teams to concentrate on more complex tasks, improving health and safety and adhering to building regulations. The robotic solution has replaced the monotonous backwards and forwards that had become part of floor cleaning tasks for personnel, improving their job satisfaction and engagement. We have also created bespoke solutions for workflow management, particularly in our airport operations. Now with 4,000 users, our workforce management tool has revolutionised the way our team members track their attendance and manage their schedules. The app-based alternative has eliminated the need for manual clock-ins and -outs, improving employee satisfaction and performance.

Our inclusion agenda is extensive and ongoing. We believe in creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and included. Small but impactful projects like hidden disability training for all ABM teams, or voice translation devices for hearing-impaired team members, and support for British Sign Language initiatives across client sites are part of our commitment to inclusion. To ensure everyone contributes to the development of our inclusive culture, we have formed impact groups that represent underrepresented segments of our workforce and society. Our Women’s Impact Group for instance, aims to promote a culture where all people are valued, empowered and given opportunities to contribute to drive business objectives and goals. The enterprise-wide group, with 20 people already in the UK chapter, is focused on advancing the understanding of what an equitable and inclusive work environment for women should look like. The Rainbow Group, on the other hand, provides a safe space for members of the LGBTQI+ community and their allies. We are proud that this group has recently supported two transgender team members on their journey to come out at work and happily continue successful careers at ABM. We have given tickets to ABM teams to attend London Pride over the last two years, giving the Rainbow Group an opportunity to engage with more team members, share knowledge and listen to concerns. We have also achieved Silver Employer Recognition Scheme status as part of our commitment to the Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Covenant in the UK. We actively recruit veterans and reservists and provide ongoing support for service personnel working at ABM. For example, we give paid leave to all reservists on the team, allowing them to continue to serve whilst working for ABM in the UK. An internal Armed Forces Working Group ensures the challenges and opinions of service personnel working at ABM are heard Richard Sykes, vice-président principal et président de la société de services d’installation ABM, active au Royume-Uni et en Irlande, explique le souci grandissant du facteur humain qui prévaut au sein de ce secteur. Il affirme que toute volonté d’extension doit tenir compte de cette dimension et cultiver un lieu de travail susceptible d’accompagner les travailleurs sur les plans professionnel et personnel.

The ABM Awards have become an annual tradition that celebrates the contributions of our team members. In 2023 we are taking this tradition to the next level

with five regional awards events, each attended by myself and senior leaders. Leading up to a large celebration ceremony in London for regional winners, these events recognise outstanding individuals and teams across our business. The awards categories include Team of the Year, Apprentice of the Year, and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) awards, among others. It’s essential for me to attend these events, communicate our vision and connect with the people who make our business thrive. These awards are not just about recognising excellence - they are a testament of our commitment to a people-centric vision. While the examples here are the tip of the iceberg of our developing peoplecentric culture, I believe an engaged team is critical to delivering our growth plans, which are ambitious. Our priorities moving forward are to keep the team engaged and for them to demonstrate our unique selling points and outstanding service levels as a result. My overarching ambition is to establish ABM as one of the key players in the facilities management industry in the UK and Ireland, as well as a fantastic place to work. With our people-centric vision, we are well on our way to achieving our goals and making a meaningful impact in the industry.

Richard Sykes, SVP und Präsident von ABM UK und Irland, erzählt uns, wie das Facility-ManagementGeschäft zu einem wirklich personenzentrierten Geschäft geworden ist. Alle Wachstumspläne müssen diese Position berücksichtigen und weiterhin einen Arbeitsplatz schaffen, der darauf abzielt, Teammitglieder sowohl beruflich als auch persönlich zu unterstützen und zu fördern.

Richard Sykes, vice presidente senior (SVP) e presidente della ABM UK and Ireland, ci parla di come i servizi alle strutture sono diventati un vero business incentrato sulle persone. Qualsiasi piano di crescita deve abbracciare questa posizione, continuando a coltivare un ambiente di lavoro che si impegna a supportare e a far crescere i membri del team, sia professionalmente che a livello personale.

Technology for efficiency and engagement

ABM Awards: recognising excellence

November 2023 | ECJ | 29


Promoting good habits EVERYONE KNOWS the importance of hand hygiene and the role it plays in reducing the risk of infections. So public washrooms need to be equipped with the products people require to facilitate proper hand washing. This means soaps, hand drying facilities and running water should all be routinely supplied. But can the choice of soap, dispenser or hand drying system have an impact on how well hand hygiene is carried out? And can washroom hygiene companies actively encourage good habits by offering products and systems that make the process more pleasant, easier or speedier? It is important to ensure the hand hygiene process is as effortless as possible, says Hagleitner’s senior product manager for disinfection Kerstin Heine. “People want hand hygiene to be quick and easy which means the soap, paper towel dispensers and warm water all need to be available where the hands are going to be washed,” she said. “And end-users will respond better to touchless dispensers because they won’t know who has used manual dispensers before them, and may feel disgusted by them.” Washroom visitors will be keener to use mild soaps than more aggressive products, she says. “However, all soaps should be functional and in sectors such as the food industry they need to be able to dissolve protein soiling, whereas in healthcare settings the hands are more likely to be disinfected than washed,” says Heine. The positioning of dispensers can have a key impact on the level of hand hygiene practised, according to Heine. “Hand sanitiser dispensers should be situated in plain sight – for example, at the entrance to kitchens in food environments,” she said. “In the washroom, too, dispensers should be situated in clearly visible locations rather than hiding them behind closed doors. This is because people are more likely to practise hand hygiene if they feel as though they’re being watched. And where hand hygiene is both accessible and observable, it is more likely

to be performed.” All dispensers need to be visually recognisable in order to encourage good hand hygiene, she said. “For example, brightly coloured dispensers are often used in healthcare.” Hagleitner dispensers can be placed in stands at different heights to draw the eye and may be inscribed with the words: “Protect yourself and your environment” to encourage good hand hygiene habits. And the Hagleitner senseManagement tool helps to track hand hygiene compliance, says Heine. Opportunities to practise hand hygiene should be available when and where they are needed in order to influence hygienic behaviour, says GOJO’s UK and Ireland managing director Chris Wakefield. “In healthcare settings, for example, hand hygiene stations should be located within arm’s reach of where patient treatment is taking place whereas in leisure, retail and catering establishments they should be positioned at the entrances and exits to buildings,” he said. “And offering one final chance to clean the hands before leaving a washroom can make all the difference in reducing the number of germs leaving the room.” According to Wakefield, positioning a sanitising dispenser between 36 and 46 inches above the floor on the handle side of the washroom exit is the optimum height to encourage its use.

A positive experience All products provided should be kind to the skin and offer a positive experience, he says. “If solutions are too smelly, sticky or runny, users are likely to avoid them,” said Wakefield. “But if people actively like using the products, they will do so more consistently – and this will help to prevent infections from spreading.” GOJO’s Purell Advanced Hygienic Hand Rub is said to be gentle on the skin, even with frequent use. End-users tend to prefer products that are easy to use and intuitively designed, says Hylab’s product and project manager Joshua Edwardes. “Functionality and de-

Products such as soaps, hand towels and air dryers all help to facilitate hand hygiene in the away-from-home washroom. But can the choice of system play a part in encouraging people to improve their hand washing habits, asks Ann Laffeaty?

sign are both essential aspects of a hand hygiene system and the right balance between the two is crucial,” he said. “Ease of use is also important because it enables users to access soap and paper effortlessly. And while providing clear instructions is beneficial, ensuring the product is user-friendly without relying on extensive directions is equally important.” He says the supply of appropriate products can prove highly effective at motivating people to improve their hand hygiene habits. “Washroom hygiene products usually work best when they are completely customised to individual customer needs,” he adds. Convenience, quality and aesthetics are all key motivators when it comes to promoting hand hygiene, he said. “Easy accessibility of dispensers in terms of position, placement and functionality is essential, while a high product quality will reinforce the desire to maintain hygiene,” said Edwardes. “Appealing designs will enhance the overall experience and encourage usage while clear instructions and motivational messages will further drive the motivation to maintain good hygiene. And when it comes to children: make it fun.” Hylab dispensers can feature bespoke pictures, logos and hand hygiene messaging to encourage good practices and all units are said to be ergonomic, intuitive, easy to use and quick to operate. The positioning of the dispenser has a key impact on the level of hand hygiene Continued page 32

November 2023 | ECJ | 31

HAND HYGIENE Promoting good habits (continued from page 31) itself is out of reach for the child,” she said. “And refilling some dispensers requires a degree of dexterity for the cleaner. “In these types of scenarios, access to hygiene can prove troublesome or be slowed down - and this could have an impact on other users and their hygiene, comfort and experience of the facility.”

Good flow essential

practised, says Edwardes. “Ensuring that the dispenser is easily accessible and visible to everyone is crucial,” he said. “It should also be placed conveniently away from the sinks to allow ample space for people to use it while others are washing their hands. “And the design of the dispenser can help to encourage usage and contribute to a positive user experience.” The goal is not to speed up hand hygiene but to make it easier for people to participate in the process, says Kimberly-Clark Professional product technical leader Stephanie Martin. “The right products should be conveniently located at the point of use and there should be a sufficient supply to support the number of people in the facility,” she said. “It’s hard to wash your hands correctly when key items such as hand soap are out of stock. And having to wait for a sink or an air dryer may also discourage people from washing their hands if they have limited time.” Washroom managers need to be vigilant about checking product levels while also ensuring all products and dispensers are clean and sanitary, she said. “Soap and hand sanitiser solutions should be nonirritating and any fragrances used should be mild to minimise the chance of skin reactions,” she added. “And hand sanitiser dispensers should be placed in easily accessible, common areas such as near lifts, offices, in hallways, in break rooms and near entrances and exits. Pourrait-on concevoir un système d’hygiène des mains susceptible d’induire à une amélioration des pratiques dans ce domaine ? L’utilisateur peut-il y être encouragé au moyen d’appareils d’utilisation simple, intuitive et rapide ? En outre, que doivent faire les fabricants pour promouvoir une amélioration des pratiques de lavage des mains dans des contextes critiques ?

32 | November 2023 | ECJ

“Also, helping people to better understand the basics of good hand hygiene can help to encourage compliance.” Common sense needs to be employed when choosing the location of hand hygiene dispensers, according to Martin. “Factors to consider include traffic, height convenience and the proximity to sinks when it comes to soap and towel dispensers,” she said. “For example, someone with wet hands could drip water on to the floor and create a slip hazard if they have to move any distance from the sink to the hand drying facilities.

Minimise barriers “And locating hand sanitiser stands throughout a building will also encourage regular hand hygiene, even when people are not using the washroom.” Any barriers to optimum hand hygiene practices need to be minimised, according to Essity’s communications director Jenny Turner. “To eliminate barriers to good hand hygiene we need to ensure all products are easy to use and refill and are accessible to everyone,” she said. “For example they should be mounted within reach of people of all heights and any communication they display should be readable and inclusive.” Hygiene systems need to be designed with a clear understanding of the end-user’s needs, she says. “For example, it is not ideal if a parent has only one hand available when lifting a child to help them wash their hands – particularly if the dispenser Kann ein spezifisches Handhygienesystem dazu beitragen, die Handwäsche zu verbessern? Reagieren Endbenutzer besser auf Produkte, die einfach und intuitiv zu bedienen sind und beispielsweise den Ablauf beschleunigen? Und wie können Handhygieneunternehmen ihre Produkte und Systeme einsetzen, um bessere Handhygienepraktiken in kritischen Bereichen zu fördern?

A good washroom flow will encourage optimal hygiene practices, according to Turner. “Jet air dryers, for example, can service only one person at a time and they take 10 or more seconds per person,” she said. “As a result, some users may choose to walk away before their hands are completely dry while others may decide not to dry their hands at all because they feel the air dryers take too long. And this will increase the risk of cross-contamination.” High quality, effective and user-friendly products will all help to support good hand hygiene practices, she said. “Where frequent hand washing is required, soft paper hand towels and mild soaps with allergyfriendly formulas will help to encourage compliance. And specialist products can help to improve people’s practices in specific environments.” As an example she cites Tork Odour Control Soap which is designed for use in professional kitchens. This is said to be kind to skin while also helping to remove pungent odours from the hands without adding any fragrance. Tork dispensers for foam and liquid soaps have been certified by the Swedish Rheumatism Association as being easy to use for children, the elderly and people with limited hand function, while the Tork PeakServe Continuous Hand Towel dispenser requires a low pull force and allows a towel to be taken out in three seconds. According to Turner, it is not sufficient to simply tell people hand hygiene is important in order to cause a behavioural change. “Significant change can only be produced with the aid of a deliberate programme combining several elements including the right tools for the task; education on the need for hand hygiene and visual reminders such as signage,” she said. “A new habit takes time to form, and it needs to be continually reinforced.” Può un sistema specifico per l’igiene delle mani aiutare a incoraggiare delle abitudini migliori di lavaggio delle mani? Gli utenti finali rispondono meglio ai prodotti facili e intuitivi da usare e ciò facilita il procedimento, per esempio? E come possono le imprese di prodotti per l’igiene delle mani impiegare i loro prodotti e sistemi per promuovere delle migliori pratiche di igiene delle mani in situazioni critiche?


Modern look For use in high-end guest washrooms and hotel rooms Diversey offers the Lapē Collection Earth Edition, a new extension of the Lapē Collection. Boasting a blend of fine highly biodegradable fragrances and a modern look, this range comes in 300 ml refillable 100 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic pump bottles.

It is Nordic Swan certified and the formulation is 100 per cent microplastic free. The range comprises shampoo & body wash, hand wash, hand & body lotion. The customerfacing bottles are refilled from five-litre canisters made from 50 per cent PCR plastic. The dark

amber colour of the bottle does not highlight the liquid filling level so there is no need to refill for every room switch. Lapē Collection Earth Edition is part of Diversey’s More Than Green selection.

Enclosed system Studies have shown that one in four refillable soap dispensers can become contaminated with harmful bacteria that can remain on the users’ hands even after using the soap - says KimberlyClark Professional. It says its Scott and Kleenex brand soap and sanitiser products come in enclosed cassette systems to

prevent this. The company says choosing quality hand soaps for cleansing can make a real difference in reducing spread of infection.

Sustainable Sterisol claims to offer a skincare solution that’s sustainable for people, planet and profit. Its system is based on an airtight pump and a strong but thin plastic bag that weighs 11 grams - less than most plastic bottles used in dispensers it says. Because there’s a vacuum in the flexible bag, it delivers a discharge rate of 99 per cent. Over one year that helps a business of 730 employees who are using 2,000 litres of skincare per year save 64 kg of plastic and 20 litres of saved soap waste. And an average of 70 per cent of the packaging comes from recycled material.

• La Lape Collection, Earth Edition, est une gamme de luxe de shampoos et de gels lavants pour les mains et le corps signée Diversey. • Les savons et désinfectants de marque des sociétés KimberlyClark Professional et Kleenex sont conditionnés en casettes étanches. • Sterisol fait valoir le fait que son distributeur de savon débite 99% du produit, éliminant ainsi les déchets. • Die Lape Collection Earth Edition ist eine luxuriöse Produktfamilie mit Shampoo und Duschgel, Handreiniger sowie Hand- und Körperlotion von Diversey. • Die Seifen- und Desinfektionsmittel der Marken Scott und Kleenex von Kimberly-Clark Professional werden in geschlossenen Kassettensystemen geliefert. • Sterisol teilt mit, dass sein Handseifenspendersystem 99% des Produkts liefert, was bedeutet, dass nichts verschwendet wird. • Lape Collection Earth Edtion è una linea di lusso di shampoo & doccia schiuma, detergente per le mani e lozione mani & corpo prodotta dalla Diversey. • I saponi e igienizzanti a marchio Kimberly-Clark Professional Scott e Kleenex sono disponibili in sistemi a cassette chiusi. • La Sterisol afferma che il suo sistema di dispenser di sapone per le mani eroga il 99% del prodotto senza sprechi.

November 2023 | ECJ | 33


• Essity a ajouté trois nouveaux savons de luxe à sa gamme Tork. • NoSoapCompany a lancé un distributeur biodégradable de produits pour l’hygiène des mains. • Dans sa gamme de produits, Americol propose un nettoyant des mains certifié NSF pour le secteur alimentaire. • Pour les zones sans approvisionnement en eau, Dreumex propose les lingettes Expert Wipes pour le lavage des mains. • Les distributeurs de papier Tris System de Hylab sont agencés de manière à recevoir différents formats. • Excel Dryer a relevé son système de filtrage HEPA par l’emploi d’un matériau HEPA électrostatique.

• Essity hat seinem TorkSortiment drei neue Luxusseifen hinzugefügt. • NoSoapCompany hat einen biologisch abbaubaren Spender für Handhygieneprodukte auf den Markt gebracht. • Als Teil seiner Produktpalette bietet Americol einen NSFzertifizierten Handreiniger für den Einsatz im Lebensmittelbereich an. • Für Bereiche, in denen kein Wasser verfügbar ist, bietet Dreumex Expert Desinfektionstücher für die Handreinigung an. • Das Tris System von Hylab verleiht seinen Papierspendern die Vielseitigkeit, verschiedene Formate aufzunehmen. • Excel Dryer hat sein HEPAFiltersystem auf elektrostatische HEPA-Medien umgerüstet.

• La Essity ha aggiunto tre nuovi saponi di lusso alla sua gamma Tork. • NoSoapCompany ha lanciato un dispenser per prodotti per l’igiene delle mani biodegradabile. • Parte della sua gamma di prodotti, la Americol propone un detergente oer le mani certificato NSF adatto per il settore alimentare. • La Dreumex propone le salviette per le mani Expert Wipes adatte alle aree dove l’acqua non è disponibile. • Tris System della Hylab permette ai suoi dispenser di carta la versatilità di adattarsi a diversi formati. • La Excel Dryer ha potenziato il suo sistema di filtraggio HEPA per utilizzare mezzi elettrostatici HEPA.

34 | November 2023 | ECJ

Bigger range

Tork manufacturer Essity has added three new luxury soap offerings to its portfolio. And the company has upgraded its EU Ecolabelled soap products to make them more sustainable. New Tork Luxury Foam Soap and Tork Luxury Liquid Soap both contain natural magnolia extract which is recognised for its relaxing properties. Tork Luxury Foam Soap is derived from 94 per cent natural ingredients and has a pleasant handfeel, while Tork Luxury Liquid Soap is soft and silky and comes from 95 per cent natural ingredients. Aimed at upmarket hotels, restaurants, offices, gyms and spas, the new products have been dermatologically tested while their improved formulations meet stringent new EU Ecolabel criteria. In order to qualify for the EU Ecolabel, soap products now need to have minimal toxicity to aquatic organisms and should be made from renewable ingredients of sustainable origin. All packaging should be kept to a minimum and easy to recycle. The new refill bottles for Tork foam soap now contain 30 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic and are also collapsible which reduces waste volumes by 70 per cent. Other recent launches include Tork Antimicrobial Liquid Soap and Tork Odour-Control Hand Washing Liquid Soap, both aimed at chefs and other kitchen workers.

Biodegradable Hand hygiene products dispenser producer NoSoapCompany has developed a dispenser made from biodegradable materials. Ninety-nine per cent of formerly plastic and metal parts have been made with materials that do not have any impact on the environment.

The new unit is 122 cm tall and made from 100 per cent biobased, 100 per cent biodegradable polymer and wood. It comes in a natural, white or black and is sold under the Hygio brand. And to make it as environmentally friendly as possible, graphics are laser etched onto the front to avoid using ink. Naturally the battery and electronics can’t be biodegradable but they can be reused or recycled.

use of water or solvents. The wipes are impregnated with a special cleaner, absorb well and remove stubborn contaminations. Available in a convenient canister or larger capacity bucket.

Versatility Hylab says its patented Tris System technology offers optimum versatility to its paper dispensers - each unit can be easily adapted to accommodate interleaved hand towels, toilet tissue or jumbo rolls with a switch of delivery kit.

Now improved Americol says it has improved all its hand cleaning formulas recently, boasting a better feel on the skin and more effective cleaning result. The 3.8-litre pump bottle is designed to give the correct dosage and prevent contamination.

All models in this line maintain a consistent design and shape, preserving the aesthetic. Available with Milano, Vela, and Materia paper dispensers.

Better HEPA The company has also made improvements to its Special Hand Cleaner to make it NSF certified therefore suitable for use in the food sector. A full range of formulas is available in various packaging formats. All contain natural granules.

No water For industries such as automotive, construction and manufacturing where workers need to clean their hands regularly but there is no water nearby, Dreumex offers Expert Wipes. Besides not containing alcohol, they clean hands without the

Warm air hand dryer specialist Excel Dryer has upgraded its HEPA filtration system to use electrostatic HEPA media. Like the previous HEPA filter, the electrostatic version is said to remove 99.999 per cent of viruses and 99.97 per cent of potentially present bacteria at 0.3 microns from the airstream - the difference lies in the way it works says Excel. The new system’s ‘supercharged’ media (electrostatically charged polypropylene microfibre) attracts microscopic particles as they move through the dryer. Viruses, bacteria and other tiny offenders quickly find themselves stuck to the internal filter. Said to improve airflow with no loss of purifying power, electrostatic HEPA filtration is now available with the original Xlerator, no-heat Xlerator-eco and ThinAir dryers. The corrosionresistant, stainless-steel mesh screen traps larger particles and protects the HEPA filter media, extending filter life.

Fast charging 90% charge in less than 2 hours

Superior lifespan 3x more than typical wet/AGM batteries

A new standard of cleaning productivity

Extended runtime Up to 2x as much usable power for unbeatable coverage*

Clean whenever you need, and avoid long charging times with Lithium-ion

Zero maintenance No watering or monitoring required

Now available with the Nilfisk Lithium-ion Battery




The Nilfisk SC351, SC500 and SC2000 scrubber dryers are now available with the Nilfisk Lithium-ion battery. Fast-charge capability, scalable capacity, and a zero-maintenance design all combine to enable entirely new levels of cleaning productivity – regardless of application.

Explore our Lithium-ion Battery solutions * Selected models


Businesses pay the price of theft

Hard-up Europeans are turning not only to food banks but also to food theft, triggering a shoplifting epidemic across much of the continent. And it is retail businesses and their legitimate customers who are paying the price, writes Hartley Milner. TWO MIDDLE-AGED women wearing baggy ankle-length skirts enter a busy convenience store in north London. Each grabs a basket and proceeds to pass casually up and down the aisles, acting to all appearances like normal customers. On completing their shop, the pair make their way to the checkout with less-thanfull baskets. But it is their curious, slightly comical waddling gait that catches the eye of the store owner. He allows them to pay for the basket items before challenging them about other goods he suspects are concealed in their clothing.

36 | November 2023 | ECJ

The women protest their innocence and attempt to leave, but are detained by store staff and escorted to a side room. They refuse to be searched but lose their nerve when the police are mentioned and fess up to stealing more than £60 (€69) worth of groceries, including cheese, meat, bread and tinned foods. The thieves reveal their ploy was to take the baskets into the ladies’ loo where they transferred the items to bags strapped between their legs and hidden by their long skirts.

Hidden compartments “They may have got away with it had they not been so greedy,” store owner Fazal Ashraf told ECJ. “They stuffed so much into the bags it weighed them down and they were barely able to walk. They would have seen there was no CCTV covering the corridor to the loos, and obviously we don’t have cameras inside our loos. It was quite a clever ruse really,

just poorly executed. “Shoplifters will go to any lengths to hide their crimes. We have found items stashed in false compartments in baby strollers and even in a mobility scooter. But I give them no credit for being resourceful. Retail theft is not a victimless crime. Theft is theft, and someone has to pay for it, and it’s the retailer and eventually their lawabiding customers through higher prices.” Ashraf, who has two stores, estimates his losses from shoplifting at around £2,000 (€2,308) a month. “We’re not a superstore, just an average high street shop struggling to get by like any other business during these desperate times,” he said. “Having to write off sums like this is not sustainable, especially when you include the cost of CCTV and other security measures we’ve had to install. It is possible to get insured against shoplifting as an add-on, but it comes with strict


requirements that make it too expensive on top of everything else. We’re continually reviewing our security, but we cannot afford to employ professional security guards like the big supermarket chains are able to do.” Ashraf said he only rarely reports shoplifters to police. “Unless someone has stolen hundreds of pounds worth of items or have been abusive or violent, they aren’t interested,” he continued. “The threat of calling them may deter some offenders, but experienced thieves know they don’t have the resources to attend and shrug off any mention of the police. So we just let them go. The best we can do is ban them from the store and network their CCTV images to alert other retailers in the area.” In fact, of the eight million incidents of shoplifting committed over the 12 months to March this year, police recorded just 339,206 cases, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Only 48,218 of these resulted in charges. During the same period, levels of customer crime in 10 major cities rose by an average of 27 per cent and by 23 per cent across England and Wales as a whole. The BRC’s 2023 crime survey reveals customer theft cost retailers just short of a billion pounds last year (€1.14 billion), despite the sector spending £715 million (€821 billion) on crime prevention. And it is not only food that comes within reach of shoplifters’ sticky fingers. Clothing, domestic cleaning products, alcohol, cosmetics, razor blades, children’s toys, baby formulas … all are high on their ‘shopping’ list. A particularly despicable trend is the targeting of charity shops, up by 28.5 per cent in the UK, according to the Charity Retail Association. “It seems almost incomprehensible that people would stoop so low as to behave like this,” said CEO Robin Osterley.

Rise in violence Most alarming of all is the dramatic rise in violence and abuse against retail workers. In a letter to the UK government demanding decisive action, and signed by 88 retail leaders, the BRC pointed out that serious incidents almost doubled to 867 a day in 2021 and 2022 compared with pre-Covid levels. And it called for a new statutory offence of “assaulting,

Peinant à joindre les deux bouts, les Européens ne se tournent pas seulement vers les banques alimentaires, mais également vers le vol à l’étalage sur une bonne partie du continent. Et ce sont les détaillants et leurs clients légitimes qui en supportent le prix, raconte Hartley Milner.

threatening or abusing a retail worker”, and for police to “prioritise offences and improve their response to incidents”. “It is vital that action is taken before the scourge of retail crime gets any worse,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson. “We are seeing organised gangs threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores. We are seeing violence against colleagues who are doing their job and asking for age verification. We are seeing a torrent of abuse aimed at hardworking shop staff. It’s simply unacceptable … no one should have to go to work fearing for their safety.” Ministers are currently drawing up plans that would see mandatory prison sentences for shoplifters who commit repeat offences. The measures will be included in new legislation requiring compulsory jail terms for reoffending in other crime areas such as burglary, theft and common assault. The number of offences triggering a custodial sentence would vary according to the type of crime.

Mandatory prison sentences Currently, the average term for shop theft handed out at the discretion of the courts is two months, although automatic release means half of this time is actually served in prison. Retail crime is not only a concern for the “nation of shopkeepers”, as Napoleon is reputed to have described the Brits. In countries like Greece, France, Spain and Germany, rising energy prices and the spread of automatic checkout machines have led to a surge in shoplifting as families struggle to pay their bills. In Athens, a 70-year-old pensioner in dire financial distress was arrested for stealing from a suburban branch of Lidl supermarket. She was found to have €40 worth of meat and cheese in her bag. Her arrest sparked mob fury, leading to several Lidl stores being vandalised and looted. The company ultimately withdrew its complaint against the woman. Food costs in Greece increased 12.35 per cent in July compared to the same month in 2022, having come down from a high of 15.36 per cent in January. A Parisian shopkeeper found himself being pelted with apples after chasing down and cornering a hooded thief with

Europäer, die knapp bei Kasse sind, wenden sich nicht nur den Tafeln zu, sondern auch dem Lebensmitteldiebstahl. Dadurch kommt es in weiten Teilen des Kontinents zu einer Epidemie von Ladendiebstählen. Und es sind Einzelhandelsgeschäfte und ihre legitimen Kunden, die den Preis zahlen, schreibt Hartley Milner.

a backpack stuffed full of groceries. He eventually overpowered the man and marched him back in an armlock to the scene of the crime. After handing him over to police, the retailer returned to pick up the stolen goods, only to find they had gone, along with the backpack … presumably purloined by an opportunist passer-by. The shoplifter was released with a police caution. Retail theft in France has spiralled by more than 14 per cent so far this year. Food inflation in the country rose to 16 per cent in March before falling to 9.6 per cent in September.

Desperate retailers Now desperate European retailers are recruiting AI sleuths in their war on shoplifters. French start-up Veesion has developed a security program that can be integrated with a store’s CCTV to detect theft in real time. It does this by identifying gestures that indicate a person is trying to steal a product, such as grabbing an item from a shelf and sticking it in their pocket or bag. Store staff then get a video alert that shows the potential theft in progress. It is then up to them to decide whether they want to intervene. Facial recognition technology is also increasingly being used to spot known shoplifters and to warn other stores they are in the area. But its use by retailers has drawn criticism as a disproportionate solution to a relatively minor crime. Individuals have little way of knowing they are on the watch list or how to appeal a decision to include them. During one contested case, UK civil liberties group Big Brother Watch called the use of the technology in stores as “Orwellian in the extreme”. And in the Netherlands, a supermarket was issued a formal warning over its use. But what of food prices? Eurostat says grocery inflation across the EU as a whole climbed to 19 per cent in March, but by August had fallen to 10.68 per cent. The data provider forecasts the downward trend will continue through the remainder of 2023 before ending the third quarter of 2024 at 4.5 per cent. Welcome news … but store owners will likely contain their celebrations until they see an end to hunger-driven plundering of their shelves.

I cittadini europei indigenti sfruttano non solo i banchi alimentari ma anche rubano il cibo, scatenando un’epidemia di furti nei negozi in gran parte del continente. Di conseguenza le attività commerciali al dettaglio e i loro clienti legittimi ne stanno pagando il prezzo, come ci informa Hartley Milner.

November 2023 | ECJ | 37


What’s all the pressure for? What are the main functions of high-pressure machines these days? Are new applications emerging all the time in line with green energy developments and innovative building designs? And are there certain tasks that can only be tackled with the aid of a high-pressure cleaner? Ann Laffeaty poses these questions to industry manufacturers.

HIGH-PRESSURE CLEANING machines are an extraordinary phenomenon – and a long-lived one, at that. Since their inception around 100 years ago they have become the go-to solution for any problematical cleaning task that cannot be successfully carried out using other machines or solutions. And their scope is broadening all the time. So it is odd to discover that the technology behind high-pressure cleaners first emerged as the result of a mistake. It happened during the prohibition era in the US when a man called Frank W Ofeldt II was working on a whisky still for a local moonshiner. The year was 1926 and the location was a Pennsylvanian town on the banks of the Ohio. While operating the still, Ofeldt suddenly became aware of the fact that his usually grimy garage floor had suddenly become very clean. And he quickly realised this was as a result of steam from the still which was being forced at high pressure through a small hose. This steam was effectively removing the grease from his floor and leaving it cleaner than he had ever seen it. Since Ofeldt came from a family of engineering pioneers he recognised the fact that steam alone - being a wholly gasified liquid lacking in mass or body - could only relocate the grease and was unable to actually remove it. But he realised the

38 | November 2023 | ECJ

potential of his discovery and began an immediate personal crusade to create a contraption that could mix wet steam with chemical agents. This led to the production of the High Pressure Jenny which was equipped with a positive displacement triplex pump with an oil-bath crank-case. Fast-forward around 25 years and manufacturer Kärcher had now entered the market. Kärcher was responsible for creating the first real commercial pressure washer - the DS30 - in 1950 and this led on to numerous upgrades and innovations both by Kärcher and by various other rival companies that had begun to spring up.

Many uses These early models were used for decontamination and cleaning applications in the military and in other industries. During the 1950s and 1960s Kärcher continued to develop and expand its design and the company’s Cat Pump revolutionised the inner workings of the device. And by the mid 1970s, piston pumps had emerged, giving rise to the modern pressure washers we have today. High-pressure cleaning equipment is now used for a whole host of applications including forecourt cleaning, vehicle cleaning, the removal of paint and grime from walls and for restoring building façades. But how is the use of these machines evolving as new technologies and building designs emerge? And what are the latest applications to which they are being put? Vehicle-cleaning remains one of the chief uses of high-pressure cleaners today according to high-pressure cleaner product manager for Kärcher Volker Steigauf. “Vehicles such as trucks, construction machines and farm equipment all tend to be cleaned using high pressure,” he said. “Other applications include the cleaning of buildings façades as well as the floors and walls inside the premises, and for pressure-washing swimming pools and changing rooms. And the technology is also used for cleaning large outdoor areas in municipalities.”

However, customer demand is changing, according to Steigauf. “There is an increasing move towards using highpressure equipment for tasks such as cleaning large areas of solar panels, the heat exchangers on air-conditioning units and for cleaning heat pumps,” he said. But while new applications are emerging, customers are largely still using the same cleaning methods as they did in the past, he adds. “They are mainly sticking to the same methodology but are using different accessories for their high-pressure cleaners depending on the task in hand,” he said. “For example there are now specific rotating brushes that have been designed for cleaning solar panels, while for graffiti removal there are new bespoke detergents that may be used in conjunction with high-pressure cleaners. “And for façade cleaning there are various types of accessories on the market ranging from rotating roller heads and brushes to multi-purpose telescopic lances, adapter sets and ergonomic carrier systems.” Kärcher offers a complete range of cold and hot water high-pressure cleaners including the iSolar Cleaning solution designed for use on solar and photovoltaic systems. Equipped with rotating brushes attached to a telescopic lance, the machine is said to be able to economically clean areas of up to 1,500 square metres. Accessories available with machines include surface cleaners, foam-systems and façade cleaning systems.

Deep and effective cleaning Today’s high-pressure washers are commonly used for cleaning building façades, vehicles, driveways and other outdoor areas says Chiara Molardi, marketing specialist at IPC by Tennant Company. “Their ability to remove substances such as dirt, grime and stains using the power of water at high pressure makes them ideal for operations that require deep and effective cleaning,” she said. However, she agrees with Steigauf that the use of high-pressure cleaners has


been evolving over recent years. “While traditional applications such as the cleaning of building façades, vehicles and outdoor areas remain prevalent, newer applications have emerged such as graffiti removal and green space maintenance,” she said. “This is because highpressure cleaning is an efficient method of removing graffiti and can also be employed for weed removal and for public area maintenance.” The new IPC Green Jet hot water machine has been specifically designed for weed removal. Described as being ecofriendly, it removes weeds using hot water alone and is said to be particularly suitable for use in municipalities, agriculture and in any public area where the use of pesticides is frowned upon. Today’s high-pressure cleaners are used for cleaning up after fire and flood damage as well as for other, more typical building and vehicle cleaning applications, says DiBO’s communications manager Kat Coppieters. “They can also be used for removing old concrete and levelling surfaces in renovation projects,” she said. “And they have found other uses in the construction,

Quelles sont les tâches pour lesquelles on utilise actuellement des appareils de nettoyage haute pression? Ces engins sont-ils déployés principalement pour le traitement de panneaux solaires, grafiti et façades ou conviennent-ils pour de nouvelles applications diversifiées ? Par ailleurs, y a-t-il des travaux pour lesquels un engin haut pression s’impose, à l’exclusion de toute autre solution ?

agricultural, shipbuilding, transport and food production sectors as well.” While their key applications have remained constant, she agrees with other commentators that newer applications are emerging. “Since Covid there has been a greater focus on hygienic cleaning and on steam cleaning in particular,” says Coppieters. “Other newer applications include graffiti removal, solar panel cleaning and gum removal. And high-pressure machines can also be used for controlling weeds and moss in the grounds of schools, hospitals, crèches and care establishments where pesticides might be prohibited.” DiBO offers weed-killing machines that are said to keep the heat to a consistent temperature of 99 degrees centigrade – which Coppieters claims to be the best temperature for killing weeds. She claims steam cleaning also works well for many applications since it easily detaches soiling from surfaces while also deactivating pathogens, bacteria and viruses. “The steam penetrates the cracks, joints and any irregularities in the surface that can be particularly hard to reach with

a cloth or brush,” she says. Other relatively recent uses of the technology include the cleaning of bus shelters, traffic signs, bicycle shelters and bins plus the removal of posters and glue residues. So, are there any cleaning tasks that only a high-pressure cleaner can tackle? And what does the future hold for the sector? IPC’s Chiara Molardi believes these machines are irreplaceable for certain applications. “High-pressure equipment is necessary for removing tough stains from concrete surfaces; for degreasing industrial machinery and for effectively removing graffiti because their power and precision make them indispensable for such demanding cleaning tasks,” she said. According to Kärcher’s Volker Steigauf, only a high-pressure cleaner can cope with cleaning complex structures such as undercuts, crevices and gaps on machinery or facades. “They are also able to tackle these jobs quickly and inexpensively,” he says. “And looking to the future, I think we are going to see an increasing demand for cleaning heat exchangers in order to maintain efficiency at a high level.”

Wofür verwenden Kunden heutzutage ihre Hochdruckreiniger? Dienen Sie hauptsächlich zur Reinigung von Solarpaneelen, Graffiti und Gebäudefassaden, oder zeichnen sich vielfältigere Anwendungen ab? Und welche Art von Aufgaben kann nur mit einer Hochdruckmaschine bewältigt werden, bei der keine andere Lösung möglich ist?

Per cosa usano i clienti in questo periodo le idropulitrici ad alta pressione? Le utilizzando principalmente per pulire pannelli solari/graffiti/ facciate degli edifici oppure stanno emergendo degli utilizzi più diversi? E che tipi di lavori possono essere affrontati con una macchina ad alta pressione, e dove nessun’altra soluzione funziona?

Detaches soiling

November 2023 | ECJ | 39


• Kärcher a récemment enrichi sa gamme de nettoyeurs haute pression par l’adjonction de 12 produits nouveaux. • Les nouveaux appareils de nettoyage haute pression IPC sont dotés d’un module de gestion des coûts. • Le système DOFF Integra de la société Stonehealth assure l’enlèvement de peinture, de matière biologique et de crasse. • Kärcher hat kürzlich seine Produktfamilie von KaltwasserHochdruckreinigern mit 12 neuen Produkten überarbeitet. • Laut IPC bieten die neuesten Hochdruckreiniger Funktionen, die eine Kostenkontrolle ermöglichen. • Das DOFF Integra System von Stonehealth entfernt Farbe, biologische Stoffe und allgemeine Verschmutzungen. • La Kärcher ha recentemente modernizzato la sua linea di idropulitrici ad alta pressione e acqua fredda con 12 nuovi prodotti. • La IPC afferma che le sue più recenti idropulitrici ad alta pressione sono dotate di funzioni che permettono il controllo dei costi. • Il sistema DOFF Integra della Stonehealth affronta la rimozione di vernice, materia biologica e sporcizia in generale.

40 | November 2023 | ECJ

Cold water With a total of 12 new products Kärcher has recently overhauled its line of cold water high-pressure cleaners. With the HD 9/20-4 S, HD 10/21-4 S, HD 10/25-4 S and the HD 13/18-4 S there are four different product classes which are each available in three different configuration options. And thanks to rotary nozzles with

pressure of 250 bar - making them suitable for removing heavy dirt. The Easy!Force high-pressure gun, which uses the recoil force of the high-pressure jet and reduces the holding force for users to zero, makes it possible to work for long periods without suffering fatigue. With the servo control feature, users can comfortably adjust the water volume and pressure at the trigger gun.

Cost control

Vibrasoft function, vibrations are reduced by up to 30 per cent in the Plus models, which makes particularly long work activities more comfortable. Depending on the version, the new models achieve a flow volume from 900 to 1,300 litres per hour as well as a working

IPC says its PW-H31, PW-H61 and PW-H101 hot water high-pressure cleaners combine operator safety, cost control without compromising on cleaning quality, and environmental considerations. Circular design is a key feature, with up to 60 per cent recycled plastic and up to 90 per cent recyclable components. Intuitive interface between user and

machine make it easy to select solutions - reducing errors and increasing productivity.

Precision From Stonehealth comes the DOFF Integra system, developed to tackle the removal of paint, biological matter and general dirt from sensitive stone masonry with precision and care. What sets it apart, the company says, is its use of hightemperature steam instead of high pressure which treats surfaces with delicacy despite its cleaning power. The amount of water used is kept to a minimum , which means surfaces are neither saturated nor soaked - drying within minutes. One of the key features is the superheated water vapour that removes paint, moss, algae, fungi and other biological matter as well as eradicating spores.


A force for good THE SIMPLY BUSINESS was founded on the belief that premium quality workplace hygiene services can and should be delivered ethically and sustainably. We’ve always believed in conducting business with a purpose beyond profits. We’ve never made sustainability an add-on to our business - it’s at the heart of everything we do, and always has been. So becoming a B Corporation (B Corp) was a natural progression for us, and it has meant we’ve joined a community of likeminded businesses who also believe in using business as a force for good. B Lab is the nonprofit network behind B Corp, transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. Building on its standards and certification process, its network leads economic systems change to support the collective vision of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. Its programs and tools help B Corps and non-B Corps plan for a resilient future - including multinationals looking to understand their social and environmental footprint - and B Lab’s policy work pushes for meaningful legal change around corporate accountability and social impact. A unified group of global, regional, and national organisations - known as the B Global Network - power the B Corp movement at local level. There are now almost 7,800 B Corp companies in 92 countries worldwide, employing 705,590 people across 161 different industries. Simply Washrooms’ journey towards B Corp certification was a valuable experience in itself. It helped us identify areas where we excelled in our sustainable practices, and also highlighted the areas in which we needed to make improvements. Before embarking on the B Corp journey, we knew we were already doing a whole range of things, but we also knew we weren’t being rigorous or structured about how we measured or monitored them. The certification process has given us a structured framework that helps us

assess our impact comprehensively. It has also allowed us to evaluate our operations across various dimensions, including governance, workers, community, and the environment. As a result we have identified opportunities for growth and development that will benefit not only our business but also the stakeholders we serve.

A new community Being part of a collective of companies with similar values and ethos through the B Corp community is truly powerful and we are already seeing the benefits. It allows us to connect with like-minded organisations that are driven by the same purpose and vision. The ability to share experiences, exchange ideas and collaborate with other B Corps amplifies our impact and contributes to a collective movement towards a more sustainable and equitable economy. It has also opened up new business opportunities and partnerships that perhaps would not have been as easy to explore without the B Corp connection.

How being a B Corp impacts our stakeholders For our customers, being a B Corp means they can trust that we are committed to operating ethically and sustainably. The certification provides independent verification that we meet rigorous social and environmental standards, giving our customers confidence they are doing business with a company that shares their values. These days, we find the majority of our customers have their own environmental targets so working with Simply means they know they’re not only getting highquality services, but we’re also helping them meet their own sustainability goals. We use eco-friendly products and materials wherever possible, and we’ve implemented best practices to minimise waste, conserve resources and reduce our carbon footprint. This in turn allows our customers to reduce their own environmental impact and supports their own

UK workplace and washroom hygiene service provider Simply Washrooms has been certified as a B Corporation (B Corp). This means it meets rigorous social and environmental standards which represent its commitment to goals outside of shareholder profit. Gemma Abbott tells us more about the process, the challenges and the benefits.

sustainability goals. We’ve found that this shared commitment fosters a deeper level of trust and understanding between us and our customers, enabling us to work together more effectively across all areas of our business. The B Corp journey has also made us look closely at our impact on the communities in which we operate. Simply has always emphasised the importance of giving back, but we hadn’t devoted much consideration to how we could do this in a targeted or meaningful way. This process has seen us reassess our approach to giving and we’ve made significant enhancements - not only increasing the amount of time and financial resources we contribute, but also ensuring the causes we support are aligned with our business. By establishing a clear methodology for supporting local communities, we are able to maximise the positive impact we can make on those around us. The final group of stakeholders that benefit from our certification is our employees. At Simply we provide a work environment that is supportive, fulfilling and aligned with our staff’s values and aspirations. This translates into greater job Continued page 42

November 2023 | ECJ | 41

GLOBAL ECONOMY A force for good (continued from page 41) satisfaction, higher levels of engagement and ultimately, a more motivated and productive workforce. Being B Corp-certified provides our employees with a sense of purpose and meaning, above and beyond their day-to-day work. We know this because our staff surveys tell us they take pride in working for a company that is committed to making a positive impact in the world. The process has also triggered several new actions for the business which have positively impacted our employees. After becoming a Living Wage employer in April 2022, we also conducted a pay equity analysis by gender, and we began monitoring staff satisfaction more rigorously. We started new wellbeing and profit share schemes, which last year saw 100 per cent of staff receive a bonus, amounting to 5.2 per cent of profits.

Looking ahead Being certified is really only the start of our B Corp journey. We’re committed to making progress towards our sustainability goals through continuous improvement and accountability. Since we gained certification, we have further reduced our carbon footprint by implementing energy-efficient practices across our operations. We have also made significant progress in our efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling, both in our own facilities and through the products and services we offer our customers. Every time we look at expanding or improving our product range, we make sure sustainability is one of the first considerations. For example we recently developed and added a bespoke fully recycled hygiene bin to our product range. None of our sanitary waste goes to landfill - 100 per cent is recycled and the by-products are turned into renewable energy and aggregate for building roads. B Corp certification has provided Simply with a clear roadmap for continuous improvement. The ongoing assessment and recertification process challenges us to set even higher standards and push beyond the status quo. By measuring our impact and striving for higher scores, we are constantly raising the bar for ourselves, fostering innovation, and finding new ways to make a positive difference in the world. If you would like to find out more, our B Corp Impact Report is available to read here: To find out more about B Corp visit:

The next edition of ECJ is February/March 2024. Stay up to date with news online. Au Royaume-Uni, Simply Washrooms, un prestataire de services d’hygiène pour toilettes collectives, a reçu la certification B Corp. Cela signifie que cette entreprise a satisfait de hautes normes sociales et environnementales, témoignant de son engagement vis-à-vis d’objectifs débordant du bénéfice des actionnaires. Gemma Abbott nous en dit plus sur les procédés, les défis et les avantages de cette certification.

42 | November 2023 | ECJ

Der britische Arbeitsplatz- und Waschraumhygieneanbieter Simply Washrooms wurde als B Corporation (B Corp) zertifiziert. Das bedeutet, dass das Unternehmen strenge Sozial- und Umweltstandards erfüllt, die sein Engagement für Ziele jenseits des Aktionärsprofits darstellen. Gemma Abbott erzählt uns mehr über den Prozess, die Herausforderungen und den Nutzen.

L’azienda britannica fornitrice di servizi per l’igiene delle sale da toilette e per i luoghi di lavoro Simply Washrooms è stata certificata B Corporation (B Corp). Questo significa che soddisfa rigorosi standard sociali e ambientali e che rappresenta il suo impegno per obiettivi al di fuori del profitto degli azionisti. Gemma Abbott ci parla della procedura, delle sfide e dei benefici.


Big event sweeping THE WORST OF THE pandemic is behind us which means that large events are back – and there have been plenty of them being staged this year. The King’s coronation drew in huge crowds in London in May, for example, while the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup in Australia and New Zealand attracted record crowds in July. Back in the UK, this year’s Glastonbury Festival and the Notting Hill Street Carnival were both very well attended. And the Rugby World Cup was played to packed stadiums across France during September and October. These types of occasions inevitably put enormous pressure on the clean-up teams tasked with removing every last scrap of debris from the spaces occupied by the event. For example, an estimated 2,000 tonnes of waste – equating to nearly 10 kilogrammes per visitor - was left behind after the Glastonbury festival in June with items needing to be removed including tents, plastic bags, laughing gas canisters and food containers. Later in the summer, council workers were expected to clear away 300 tonnes of rubbish - equivalent to the weight of 25 double-decker buses – from London’s streets following the two-day Notting Hill Carnival. Some 200 cleaners and 30 refuse trucks were involved in the huge clean-up operation in which many thousands of plastic bottles, takeaway containers and nitrous oxide canisters had to be removed.

Logistical challenge But what are the specific sweeping challenges that such occasions pose? Does the type of debris and the access arrangements make life particularly difficult for the clean-up teams? Or is the main challenge the sheer amount of debris to be cleared up? Sweeping up after a large event can be a significant logistical challenge according to Chiara Molardi, marketing specialist at IPC by Tennant Company. “There are several reasons for this,” she said. “The type of waste and debris that needs to be cleaned

away can vary greatly depending on the event. People attending a music festival, for example, may leave behind items such as drink cans, food wrappers and even hazardous materials such as lighters. “Large events may also have limited access points, making it difficult for sweeping equipment and personnel to get through. And the huge amount of debris generated by a big festival can overwhelm the cleaning teams, especially if the occasion lasts more than a day and attracts thousands of participants.”

How difficult is the task of sweeping up after a major indoor or outdoor event? What challenges do such occasions pose, and what types of machines are geared up for these particularly tough tasks? Ann Laffeaty asks sweeper manufacturers for their insights.

Safety protocols Handling hazardous waste requires specialist training and bespoke equipment, she adds. “Operators need to follow safety protocols, wear appropriate protective clothing and use special containers to dispose of hazardous materials,” she explained. “It is crucial to prioritise safety when dealing with this type of waste.” The choice of sweeper will depend on the specific needs and challenges of the event in question, says Molardi. “However, there are some key characteristics that will be required of any machine tasked with a big event clean-up,” she adds. Sweepers will need to offer a large capacity and be efficient, manoeuvrable and durable, she says. “A sweeper with a substantial waste-holding capacity will be essential for events that generate a high volume of debris because this will reduce the frequency of emptying while also improving efficiency,” she said. “All equipment will also need to be robust and durable in order to withstand prolonged use in challenging conditions. It should be able to handle various terrains and operate in all weather conditions, too. “And the sweeper operator needs their machine to be easy to manoeuvre, particularly in tight spaces and crowded venues.” High-efficiency sweepers will enable the operator to cover large areas quickly, she says – and this is crucial in the case of events with tight schedules and limited access points. “There may also be environmental

considerations to bear in mind since some organisers may prioritise eco-friendly sweepers with low emissions and reduced environmental impact,” she said. “And safety is paramount, which means sweepers should have features that protect the operator and the public such as back-up alarms, visibility enhancements and safety systems.”

Location and type of event IPC by Tennant Company offers various ride-on sweepers that can be deployed after a big event including the 175 and 195 industrial sweepers and the 1404 and 1280 models. The 1280 sweeper may be used both outdoors and indoors and is available with battery power, diesel/petrol engine or in a dual power petrol hybrid version. The battery model is said to provide up to four hours’ operating time and is described as being simple and intuitive to manoeuvre. The logistical challenge of cleaning up after a big occasion depends on the location and type of event in question, says Kärcher Municipal’s product management director Matthias Fleig. “These parameters will have an influence on factors such as the ground condition, floor coverings, accessibility and the extent of soiling, waste and debris,” he said. “And these in turn will determine Continued page 46

November 2023 | ECJ | 43

A sub-show of Hotel & Shop Plus





SQM Exhibition Area of Hotel & Shop Plus

CCE Exhibitors



Trade Buyers at Home and Abroad

Forums & Activities






#ChinaCleanExpo #CCE

China Clean Expo 2024,An Excellent Show You Can’t Miss! China Clean Expo 2024, organized by IM Sinoexpo and supported by ISSA – The worldwide cleaning industry association, will return to Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC) on March 26th – 29th, 2024. Being a well-known comprehensive flagship cleaning exhibition in Asia, China Clean Expo covers a wide range of exhibits, including cleaning equipment & accessories, tools & agents, high-pressure equipment, restroom supplies, air purification & epidemic prevention, facility management, smart cleaning, laundry, environmental sanitation etc. As a sub-show of Hotel & Shop Plus, the leading hospitality and commercial space event in China, China Clean Expo 2023 attracted 400+ cleaning companies. And Hotel & Shop Plus 2023 totally gathered over 2,000 exhibitors covering 210,000 sqm exhibition space, and the visits of trade buyers reached 124,505, and 80+ forums, competitions and equipment demos were held alongside.

Two Themed Zone Aiming to Empower Industry High-Quality Development Following closely with industry trends, China Clean Expo 2024 will setup “Smart Cleaning Zone” and “Environmental Sanitation Technology and Facility Zone” on the show floor, the former one will gather various smart cleaning brands like Gausium, Idriver and BIB Robotics to highlight cutting-edge technology and demonstrate how AI enhances our industry. The latter one is committed to promote the development and application of new products and technologies in environmental sanitation sector.

Products Displaying in Parallels with Various Events to Enhance Visiting Experience Concurrently, an event themed Intelligence and Craftsmanship Series Activities will invite outstanding leaders at home and abroad to discuss and share ideas on cleaning, property, air purification, laundry, disinfection etc. Various forms of activities such as forums, speeches, competitions, and demonstrations will be staged in turn to help audience understand the latest developments from multiple dimensions.

Co-located with Hotel & Shop Plus, Get Ready to Harvest More Business Opportunities Hotel & Shop Plus and sub-show China Clean Expo will share synergy effects. Worldwide industry buyers from property management company, contract cleaning company, public facility management company, commercial real estate, general merchandise, shopping mall owners and hospitality group etc. will get together to discover new business opportunities by cross-industry communication.

China Clean Expo Looks Forward to Meet You at SNIEC in March From March 26 to 29, 2024, China Clean Expo will take place at SNIEC, numerous outstanding companies, brands and solution providers around the world will gather here. If you want to watch innovative cleaning products and technologies in person, explore Chinese cleaning market, expand your local business network, and grasp the industry development trends, then China Clean Expo 2024 is a must-see show. Registrations are now open, Claim your free pass at

SWEEPERS Big event sweeping (continued from page 43) fatigue-free work,” he said. “They also have a large container volume and some of them come with a hydraulic high container for easy emptying.” Municipal suction sweepers and mechanical sweepers both use brushes to sweep up the dirt and transport it into a large, sturdy waste container, he said. “These machines offer different brush options to increase their working width and can be used to quickly clean up larger areas,” he said.

Fastest results

which technologies or models will be most suited to the task since different sweepers will be required in different areas.” Floor cleaning serves several purposes after a large event, says Fleig. “For example it will help to reduce the risk of accidents while also preserving the floor covering and helping to prevent secondary contamination,” he said. “The type and size of debris plays a definite role in the sweeping challenge, as does the type of surface on which the event is held. These factors can determine which machine and what kind of cleaning tools to use, and what material the brushes should be made of.”

Machinery a problem Larger machines can be used for sweeping up after events in indoor spaces or even in large outside areas that have a stable and even surface, he says. “However, an outdoor festival taking place on a grass surface that turns muddy - due to a lot of rain for example – can turn the use of machinery into a huge problem,” he said. Most debris can be cleared away safely, even if the waste concerned is potentially hazardous, he adds. “In a normal situation Quels sont les défis du balayage à l’issue d’une grande manifestation comme le Carnaval de Notting Hill à Londres, le couronnement du roi Charles III ou des festivals de musique ? Quels sont les problèmes à résoudre sur le plan des volumes de détritus, des types de débris et de l’accès aux lieux ? Et faut-il y déployer des types particuliers de balayeuse ?

46 | November 2023 | ECJ

the sweeper operator will have no direct contact with the waste itself because this will be collected either mechanically or through a suction system and then put in the big waste container,” he said. “Likewise, during the emptying process there will be no physical contact with the collected waste. However if the operator needs to manually pick up an item such as a used syringe he or she would have to be cautious.” Walk-behind battery-powered machines work well in medium to large-sized indoor areas, he says. “The fact these produce no exhaust emissions means they are ideal for cleaning indoor spaces, especially on hard surfaces such as coated and uncoated concrete subfloors,” he said. “They also work well on textile floor coverings and are available with an electric motor.” Fleig recommends the use of walkbehind vacuum sweepers with a traction drive plus extraction and filter systems for medium-sized outdoor areas of up to 1,000 square metres in size. “For larger outdoor areas spanning 1,500 square metres and above we advocate the use of ride-on vacuum sweepers because these will guarantee Wie schwierig ist die Reinigung nach einem großen Ereignis wie dem Karneval in Notting Hill, der Krönung des Königs, europäischen Musikfestivals usw.? Welche Herausforderungen stellen diese Art von Ereignissen in Bezug auf Müllmengen, Arten von Abfällen und Zugangsprobleme dar? Und welche Arten von Kehrmaschinen sind diesen schweren Aufgaben gewachsen?

The fastest cleaning results can be achieved using a mechanical sweeper because this has the highest working speed, he says. “However, depending on the layout of the area, the more agile suction sweepers can also be a good choice,” he adds. “These machines can be driven to a container where they can empty their contents quickly, and then continue cleaning again straight away.” He says Karcher’s MC 50, MC 80, MC 130 and MC 250 suction sweepers and the MCM 600 mechanical sweeper can all be used for cleaning up after a major event. “In addition we also offer a complete range of commercial sweepers starting from small mechanical walk-behind machines to industrial ride-on models,” he said. So, what type of clean-up operations create the biggest headache for sweeper operators and why? “Open air festivals – such as the Wacken Open Air heavy metal festival in August come to mind,” said Fleig. “These types of event are not always held on big asphalt areas but on soft grass, which can create more problems when sweeping up. “If there is rain involved too, using a machine to clean the area afterwards can be even more problematic. But the main challenge at any event relates to the sheer amount of debris that will have been left behind by the revellers.” IPC by Tennant Company’s Chiara Molardi agrees that music festivals tend to create the biggest clean-up headaches. “Here the waste will often need to be separated into recyclables, general waste and potentially hazardous materials which adds complexity to the clean-up process,” she says. Quanto è difficile spazzare le strade dopo un evento importante tipo il Carnevale di Notting Hill, l’incoronazione del Re, i festival europei di musica ecc? Quali tipi di sfide presentano questi eventi in termini di volumi di rifiuti, tipo di sporcizia e problemi di accesso? E quali tipi di spazzatrici sono all’altezza di questi difficili compiti?


Hidden dangers THE TWILIT WORLD of cleaning can be a lonely, isolated place. And it can also be a dangerous one. Cleaners often work late at night or in the early hours of the morning when few people are around. They tend to be a multicultural workforce which means they frequently operate in alien environments where they are not native speakers. And many have to work in the streets which involves venturing into the shadier parts of towns. So this means they often find themselves in situations where they are vulnerable, defenceless and open to abuse. In November 2019 it was reported that two male council cleaners were badly beaten while carrying out their duties in northern Belfast. They were approached by two men in an alleyway in broad daylight who attacked them and stole one of their mobile phones. Both cleaners were left with facial injuries, though fortunately neither required hospital treatment. Another UK street cleaner was not so lucky when driving a road sweeping vehicle in Middlesborough in November 2019. The 55-year-old sustained a serious facial injury after an air pellet shot through the window of his cleaning machine. Cleveland Police described the incident as a “sickening, callous, attack”. A few months earlier in September 2019, street cleaners in Madrid were forced to seek police protection after being persecuted by local gangs. Municipal workers operating in three different areas of the Spanish capital were verbally abused, shot at with pellets and bombarded with eggs by local thugs. And a similar story emerged when Glasgow street cleaners suffered a spate of verbal and physical attacks. These prompted calls that the operatives should be equipped with body cameras to help police catch the perpetrators. So, why are so many of today’s cleaners being subjected to violence and abuse? It seems that it may be nothing personal but simply a by-product of working alone or

in small groups in potentially dangerous locations. Many other operatives such as social workers, firefighters and emergency doctors have also reported coming under occasional attack when performing their duties. But this news will be of little comfort to the average cleaner. The range of behaviour which may be included under the general heading of violence at work is very broad. But the borderline of what constitutes acceptable behaviour is often vague and cultural attitudes to what amounts to violence are so diverse that it is a very complex matter to define violence at work. Lone workers are often seen as easy targets by aggressors. Cleaners, maintenance or repair staff and others who work alone outside normal hours are at special risk of suffering physical and sexual attacks according to a report by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Night-time is the highest risk period.

Cleaners are vulnerable to abuse and occasionally even assault when working in isolated places during unsociable hours. So, what are employers and other bodies doing to help keep them safe?

Women at risk Many studies show that women are at particular risk of violence. Data from Sweden also shows women to be more at risk of workplace injuries caused by violence than their male colleagues. Why are women at high risk of violent behaviour in the workplace? In the first place, women are concentrated in many of the high-risk occupations, such as cleaning. The continued segregation of women in low-paid and low status jobs, while men predominate in better-paid, higher status jobs and supervisory positions, also contributes to the problem says ILO. In broad terms, the impact and cost of violence at work needs to be considered at a number of different levels: • At the individual level, where the suffering and humiliation resulting from violence usually lead to lack of motivation, loss of confidence and reduced self-esteem, depression and anger, anxiety and irritability. In the same way as with stress, if the causes of violence are not elimiContinued page 48

November 2023 | ECJ | 47

WORKFORCE Hidden dangers (continued from page 47) risk assessment which could result in implementing better security, changing the time of day at which employees work or even removing employees from the site entirely.”

Risk assessment

nated, or its effects contained by adequate intervention, these symptoms are likely to develop into physical illness, psychological disorders, tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse. • At the workplace, violence causes immediate, and often long-term disruption to interpersonal relationships, the organisation of work and the overall working environment. Employers bear the direct cost of lost work and improved security measures. • At the community level, the costs of violence include healthcare and long-term rehabilitation costs for the reintegration of victims, unemployment and retraining costs for victims who lose their jobs as a result of such violence. In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a guide to the risks of lone working that says employers are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of their workers when going about their duties. Cleaning managers are required to make risk assessments and involve their workers in any measures taken to protect them.

Workers take care And the HSE adds that workers have a responsibility to take reasonable care in any risky situation and to co-operate with their employers to help them meet their legal obligations. Atalian Servest’s quality, health, safety and environment manager John Crombie confirms that attacks against cleaners are not uncommon. “Unfortunately we do see incidents of abuse, assault and of intruders across the cleaning industry, particularly in situations where employees come into contact with the public,” he said. L’univers crépusculaire du nettoyage peut s’avérer un lieu solitaire et isolé. Il peut également devenir dangereux. Les agents de nettoyage sont exposés aux insultes, voire même aux agressions physiques, lorsqu’ils ont à travailler dans des endroits isolés et à des heures peu sociables. Que font les patrons et les organismes du secteur pour assurer leur sécurité?

48 | November 2023 | ECJ

“Most of these cases are alcohol or drug-related and usually occur in public areas, often during the daytime. When our employees are working at or near major public events they may come across people acting inappropriately. And incidents will often arise from a minor issue, such as for example when a member of the public on a train acts inappropriately because they can’t buy any more alcohol. These types of issues may be completely unrelated to the cleaning employee - but our staff member can quickly become a target simply because they happen to be working in the vicinity.” Working in Isolation and late at night can add to the risk, he says. “However, we don’t single these practices out because this could lead people to judge other situations to be less risky,” he said. “For example, there are some sites that wouldn’t immediately be expected to pose a risk but which could suddenly become areas of concern when, say, a protest is going on nearby.” This type of situation could lead to a lock-down scenario in which the company’s employees would need to be removed from the area, he said. “We carry out a unique risk assessment at every site and act accordingly.” Atalian Servest has its own procedures in place for dealing with any incident of assault or abuse. “These types of situations must be logged in detail with the site supervisor,” said Crombie. “Depending on the severity of the incident it may be escalated to the health and safety team so that it can be dealt with appropriately. And this may then lead to a review of the Die dämmrige Welt der Reinigungskräfte kann ein einsamer, abgeschiedener Ort sein. Und er kann auch gefährlich sein. Reinigungskräfte sind anfällig für Beschimpfungen und gelegentlich sogar tätliche Angriffe, wenn sie außerhalb der normalen Arbeitszeiten an abgeschiedenen Orten arbeiten. Was unternehmen Arbeitgeber und andere Industrieverbände, um für die Sicherheit der Arbeitskräfte zu sorgen?

Each situation is treated individually following a detailed site-specific risk assessment, he said. “We look at who is working where, how and when,” said Crombie. “Will our employees be coming into contact with members of the public? Will they be working alone? What type of environment will they be in? What tasks will be carried out? We put in place whatever control measures we feel to be appropriate in order to minimise the risks - and these measures are frequently reviewed and updated.” The company has a strict Lone Working Procedure which is designed to ensure that all employees stay safe, particularly when working at night, he says. “This is covered as part of the employee induction for each role,” said Crombie. “Employees will always have clear communication channels available so that any issues may be escalated either with their line manager or with our 24/7 help desk. “Keeping employees safe is paramount and is ingrained into Atalian Servest’s working culture: we all understand that if a situation is unsafe, it is far more important that employees remove themselves from that situation than to carry on through in an attempt to complete the work.” While Atalian Servest sees it as its own responsibility to look after its employees, the company also believes that staff should take some responsibility for their own safety. “It is important to explain our safety measures and processes so that employees will understand the benefits they bring,” he said. “We work hard to ensure that all members of staff follow our safety guidelines. “We also run our own ‘Always Be Careful’ (ABC) safety campaign which is a call for employees to be aware of their surroundings and remove themselves from any situation which seems unsafe. When this occurs, employees should immediately go to a safe place and contact their line manager.” Il nebuloso mondo delle pulizie può essere un luogo solitario e isolato e può anche essere pericoloso. Gli addetti alle pulizie sono vulnerabili agli abusi e occasionalmente anche alle aggressioni mentre operano in luoghi isolati durante i lunghi orari di servizio. Come stanno facendo i datori di lavoro e le organizzazioni industriali per assicurare la sicurezza al personale?

Reader registration form November 2023 To receive ECJ free of charge (subject to qualification), complete the form below. Name .................................................................................... Job title ................................................................................ Company ............................................................................... Address ................................................................................ Postal code ............................................................................

Please tick just one box in each section. Your company’s main business activity: q Factory & industrial premises q Offices & commercial premises (including banks) q Contract cleaning/cleaning services q Distributors/wholesalers q Health authorities/hospitals/ nursing homes q Central and local government q Hotels/catering/recreation (including leisure centres) q Education establishments (including universities, schools & colleges) q Other (please specify) Number of company employees:

Country ................................................................................. Tel ........................................................................................ Fax ......................................................................................

Are you personally responsible for purchasing or specifying machinery, materials, products, equipment or support services used in the cleaning and maintenance of non-domestic establishments? q Yes q No q None of the above.

E-mail .................................................................................. Web site ................................................................................ Please sign here only if you wish to receive a regular copy of European Cleaning Journal (the publisher reserves the right to accept or refuse application).

Signature ......................................... Date...................

Scan and email your completed form to: Or register online at

Take complaints off your to-do list The Tork Office Hygiene Package

67% of employees say that they are more likely to complain about a washroom than any other aspect of their office.* Cut complaints by ensuring that cleaning and washroom maintenance are run well and efficiently with the Tork Office Hygiene Package.™

*June 2022 Behaviourally – Qualitative and quantitative office segment research with 600+ respondents in North America and Europe. Tork, an Essity brand.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.